Minnesota-flavored racism

What a way to spread the reputation of your town. New Prague High School, a little place southwest of Minneapolis, hosted a girl’s basketball game, and the spectators started taunting the players from the Robbinsdale team.

Some people in a high school basketball crowd are being accused of taunting visiting players, many of whom are students of color, with monkey noises during a close game.

The racist chants happened at the girl’s basketball game between Robbinsdale Cooper and New Prague in New Prague Tuesday night, according to accounts.

One public Facebook post, shared more than 450 times, says some adults and students supporting the home New Prague team “started to make loud MONKEY NOISES,” directed at the Robbinsdale Cooper players, as the tightly contested game neared its end.

This seems to be a habit at New Prague.

Damian Johnson, head boy’s basketball coach at Benilde St.-Margaret’s and former Gopher, said on Twitter he “wasn’t surprised at all” to hear Williamson’s claims. He told Bring Me The News that during a Jan. 31 game between the Benilde and New Prague 9B teams, two girls in the stands referred to a Benilde player as a “monkey” while he shot free throws.

A player on the St. Louis Park boy’s hockey team said similar comments were made during the school’s game against New Prague this Tuesday. At least two New Prague players, he told Bring Me The News, called a student on the St. Louis Park team a “monkey” and told him to “go back to the 1860s” as that player was leaving the ice.

Other schools are responding strongly.

In a response to alleged racist taunts during a Feb. 15 high school boys hockey game, St. Louis Park will not compete in any contests against New Prague for at least until the end of the school year.

In an email to New Prague athletics director Brad Skogerboe sent on Monday, St. Louis Park AD Andrew Ewald said the ban “will continue until the harm that was caused is repaired and we are assured that any of our stakeholders, most importantly our students, will not be victimized by racism by any New Prague stakeholder in the future.”

But wait — that seems backward. The schools with black students are canceling their competitions with New Prague? Does that mean the racist high school wins in a forfeit? The penalty ought to be that New Prague is not allowed to compete. Further, apparently New Prague only recently applied to, and was accepted into, the West Metro conference. Kick them out. There’s no excuse for tolerating that kind of behavior.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    A depressing certainty is that many of those Minnesotans who behaved badly will be descended from Swedes, some of which emigrated to escape the repressive society we had at the time. And now their descendants are assholes. And will grow up to vote for similar assholes.
    It is like discovering you have second cousins who joined some outlaw biker gang, or some White Power group.

  2. Allison says

    I hate to say it, but this is not unique to Minnesota. Across the Hudson River from me, there were almost identical taunts at a basketball game between the high school from a mostly white district and one from a district with a large portion of Black students (and thus a lot of Black players on the team.)

    Some of the parents and administrators from the mostly white district have apologized and said they want to do something, but a large number of other people from the district are doubling down.

    (I haven’t kept up with where this is now, though.)

    Apparently, at some level, all racists think alike, I guess.

  3. wcaryk says

    Compounding the stupidity, I’m willing to bet that the “monkey sounds” are actually kookaburra sounds, which foley artists lay in any jungle scene.

  4. robro says

    It feels like 1970 all over again. Perhaps rather than kicking them out, the student and faculty at the New Prague school should be offered the opportunity to get educated in the harm of racism, good manners and being decent human beings.

  5. rrhain says

    Similar nonsense happened here in San Diego when the Coronado high school basketball team threw tortillas at the Orange Glen team, which is from Escondido and has a sizeable Latinx population.

    The Coronado school district had the good sense to fire the coach and apologize to the Escondido school.

  6. bcw bcw says

    @2 that would be Pearl River. Some of the Pearl River students have held protests to demand the school to stop it happening again but others…

  7. chrislawson says


    As an Australian familiar with the sound of kookaburras, I found it hilarious when that scene rolled in Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Yes, apparently the foley artists flipped through various “jungle sound” recordings and thought it sounded like monkeys.

    OTOH, it is a fantastic movie. Even if no explanation is given for the presence of kookaburras in Mexico.

  8. says

    Similar nonsense happened here in San Diego when the Coronado high school basketball team threw tortillas at the Orange Glen team, which is from Escondido and has a sizeable Latinx population.

    “Oh look I just happen to have some tortillas with me, in a totally unplanned and spontaneous kind of way…”