‘Such ugliness’: Racist taunt hurled at East Central basketball player

A video is going viral on social media showing an East Central High School basketball player at the free throw line during a game against Marble Falls High School last Friday, November 18. Then someone from the bleachers can be heard hurling screams imitating an ape or monkey at the player.

East Central Hornets player Asia “AP” Prudhomme, who is black, tweeted out the video on Saturday, calling the incident “sad, heartbreaking, and uncalled for.” Prudhomme, despite the racist taunting, still made the free throw. 

“Can’t even play basketball without ignorance and racism in the stands,” Prudhomme tweeted. “This really broke my heart, my coaches and teammates… please share this out and help us punish those involved.”

The noises came several more times from the Marble Falls student section until a parent from East Central asked an administrator to address the issue, KSAT reported. East Central Hornets faced off against Marble Falls Lady Mustangs during their ongoing tournament. The Lady Mustangs had a game scheduled for Saturday but it was canceled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

The East Central Athletic Director Suzette Arriola tweeted on Sunday saying that that the district stands behind all of its students. 

“Diversity is one of our key core values,” Arriola says. “Our coaches and administration believes ‘all means all.’ We are sorry our players had to endure this from spectators and we are working quickly with their administration and coaching staff to resolve this issue.” 

East Central’s coach, Vanessa Villarreal, tweeted about the incident, calling out the difficulty of speaking to the team about what happened but also that it did not ruin their weekend.

“Our kids grew & I wish I could show what our girls did on the bus once we discussed it,” Villarreal wrote in the tweet. “Our girls are amazing people who love each other so much! I love them for that!”

East Central fans and peers shared support on the social media platform. James Ibarra, a coach with O’Connor High School said, “I’m sorry your team experienced this but happy you coached them through it and didn’t let it ruin your time. Good luck and god bless your team this season.”

Another tweet, from Sandra Hernandez, said, “No one should ever encounter such ugliness in the world.”

In a statement given to the San Antonio Express-News, Marble Falls Principal Damon Adams said, “Marble Falls High School takes these allegations seriously and will hold students accountable for any behaviors that violate our expectations.” Adams also said people attending the game were being interviewed and video footage is being reviewed.

Marble Falls ISD has yet to comment on the behavior. MySA reached out for comment. 

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