Tony Humphrey joined the track team to gain speed, but the assistant athletic director told him he "gained that speed by running from the police."
A star athlete has left his high school in the dust after he alleged he has endured racism on its baseball team. Educators and institutions are becoming more sensitive to the plights of students who report racist incidents with their peers, and Tony Humphrey never thought Iona Prepatory's assistant athletic director would say something that would make headlines nationwide.
The 16-year-old New York native played baseball for the school and already committed to play for Boston College post-graduation after being recruited. However, his high school plans have taken a detour following an interaction with the assistant athletic director.
“He comes up to me and asked why was I doing track," said the teen. Being the dedicated athlete that he is, Humphrey told the assistant director that he just wanted to learn how to become faster. “It never hurts to gain speed." The assistant told him he didn't need to join another sport to run faster because he “gained that speed by running from the police.”
Humphrey was irate and unimpressed. “That was racist. There was no reason for him to say that," he said. “I decided to leave, because of my current situation, as I’m already committed. I’m already going to [college]. I don’t feel like I have to stay at a program where they’re going to look at me different, or feel uncomfortable at a place I have to go to Monday through Friday."
“There were other instances of racism during my freshman year,” he added. “I took it up with the dean, I took it up with the higher-ups, and nothing happened to the other student.” In an act of solidarity, several other students staged a walkout.
Meanwhile, the school declined to release the name of the staff member in question, who has since resigned, but they did reportedly share a letter with parents regarding the incident, reported PIX11 News
A portion of the letter reportedly reads: “Such comments go against the very mission of the school to develop moral and ethical leaders. It is behavior that Iona Preparatory does not condone for its students and will not accept from its faculty and staff.”