Washington high school fined over racist conduct at basketball game

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has fined and put on probation a high school in eastern Washington state over racist conduct at a girls basketball game.

Connell High School was fined $1,000 after student fans at Connell High School on May 22 were seen and heard making monkey sounds and gestures at Black players from Zillah High School, The Tri-City Herald reported.

The state organization penalties were issued after sanctions imposed by the South Central Athletic Conference were appealed. The state organization repealed two regional sanctions, but then added others meant to protect the victims and create long-term change, officials said.

The $1,000 fine is to be used by Connell High School to develop a region-wide Student Sportsmanship Conference for high school students, addressing respect and anti-bias behavior. Connell High School administrators and coaches must complete an implicit bias class, and the high school cannot host competitions this year.

The WIAA overturned sanctions that banned Connell basketball teams from participating in the post-season and banned parents from attending competitions. There was no evidence of basketball players or parents contributing to the racist acts, the WIAA said.

Connell High’s athletic director, Stephen Pyeatt apologized to the Zillah players, coaches and community.

"You did not deserve this in any way, and no one should ever have to be subjected to what happened," he said in the formal apology. "I am sorry."