Donald Trump didn’t win the Iowa caucus, taking second to Ted Cruz, but his anti-immigration message seems to have taken hold with some residents. And one high school basketball team is feeling the effects of it during a heated political season.
Perry High School’s varsity basketball team, which includes Latino, Native American and African-American players, has been the target of chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!" during its regular season and, now, in the playoffs, players and school officials told WHO TV.
"We are really more of an urban school in a rural setting. Here at the high school, we are 48 percent minority," Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger told the station.
Apparently, that’s what fans from some opposing schools in the largely rural area have keyed on when facing them.
The most recent episode came Monday against Dallas Center-Grimes in the Class 3A district playoffs, as fans directed their "Trump" chants at Perry’s Latino players. The players also said opposig fans taunted them by reciting some of the rhetoric Trump has used in saying what he would do with illegal immigrants and their families.
One of the Perry players, senior Shammond Ivory, discussed it with WHO TV.
"It’s honestly disrespectful. That’s how I take it. I hear it during the game, on and off the court. Everywhere I go. … As soon as I hear something like that, it just triggers me and it makes me strive for more and to do it for my team, coaches and my community," Ivory said.
A spokesman for Dallas Center-Grimes acknowledged the chants and said that the issue had been handled by the school, but declined to address any possible punishment for students involved.
Perry concludes its season tonight as it plays in the Class 3A final.
Here’s hoping opposing fans can stick to cheering on their own team.