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Controversy Interrupts Charles City/Waterloo East Softball Game

Thursday night’s playoff softball game between Charles City and Waterloo East was interrupted amid reports that East players, who are black, were subject to racial comments from Comet fans.

KCHA’s Eric Hoefer described the scene during our radio broadcast.

Hoefer Scene #1  :

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier is reporting a Trojan player told head coach Chad Adams inappropriate racial language was being yelled by Comet fans in the center field bleachers, a claim backed up by another player. Charles City school officials asked  a group of fans to leave the stadium and play resumed after a delay of about 10 minutes. 

Hoefer says he talked with several people after the game and any racial remarks appear to be unsubstantiated. The Courier report quotes Charles City’s Keisha Cunnings, whose son Jeremiah Chapman was the target of racially-charged language during a Comets’ baseball game against Waverly-Shell Rock in 2020.

Cunnings was at Thursday’s game in Charles City and said she is certain the Charles City fans were not saying anything racist and would’ve taken action if she thought that was the case.

The Charles City Police blotter notes that officers were called to the game to monitor the situation and remained on scene until the game was over, which Charles City won 9-5.

Friday, KCHA received the following statements from the Charles City  and Waterloo School Districts:

CCCSD:

The Charles City High School administration is conducting an investigation into inappropriate comments allegedly made at a regional softball game the evening of July 7 in Charles City.  Upon being made aware of the alleged comments, administrators onsite worked with game officials to ensure play resumed as soon as possible. 

Our school administrators are working closely with the Waterloo Community School District and its athletic department to gain a full understanding of what took place Thursday evening. Charles City CSD and Waterloo CSD officials have obtained game video, captured within a few feet of the alleged incident. We are reviewing the video for any potentially inappropriate activity. 

Please know that we take this issue very seriously. The district will issue the appropriate disciplinary action for any students found to be at fault for the alleged incident, per district policy.  As always, our top goal when it comes to sporting events is to provide a safe, welcoming, supportive, and positive environment for all student-athletes, coaches, and spectators.

Waterloo:

Waterloo Schools officials have been working to gather more information and respond to the allegations of racist taunts towards our Waterloo East players at the Class 4A regional softball game in Charles City on Thursday. East High coaches and Charles City administrators present at the game worked swiftly with umpires to address the situation.

As soon as our athletes communicated to our coaches that racist taunts were being used by fans towards the players, the coaches notified the umpires. The fans were then ejected from the game.

While our best hope is that friendly athletic competition could occur without incidents such as these, we are appreciative of the prudent and swift responsiveness to these allegations by the hosting team’s administrators and officials. We are also proud of our student-athletes who notified coaches and handled this situation with poise.

As a school district, we are advocates not only of our students’ physical safety and wellbeing but their emotional safety and wellbeing. We are in the process of reviewing the video footage from last night’s game and are thoroughly investigating these reports. We also remain in communication with administrators and coaches in the Charles City district to fully resolve this situation.

 

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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