The coach of the Minneapolis Roosevelt High School boys basketball team questioned on Wednesday why young fans at his road game in Jordan prominently displayed a flag promoting the re-election of President Donald Trump during Tuesday night’s contest.
Michael Walker posted on Facebook a photograph of fans on the Jordan side of the gym with the flag draped over the legs of four front-row spectators.
The message read: Trump 2020 Keep America Great!
Several other young fans sitting nearby were wearing clothing patterned after the American flag. All of the fans in that portion of the bleachers appear to be white, and one is black.
“I coach a predominantly black inner city high school team,” Walker wrote on his Facebook posting. “We go out to a rural area in Jordan, MN and this is there. Please explain how and why this is appropriate at a high school basketball game?”
Walker included a slew of hashtag phrases, among them #critical questioning, #blackandproud and #blackmenmatter. Walker, who is black, also is the director of his district’s Office of Black Male Student Achievement.
Messages from the Star Tribune were left with administrators in the Jordan School District, its athletic director and the Jordan coach seeking comment about the flag’s display. There have been no replies as of early Wednesday afternoon.
Among those concerned about the flag’s presence during the game is Crystal Flint, who coached the Minneapolis North girls team from 2005 until early 2018.
“You got freedom of speech but would that remotely be appropriate?” said Flint, who now coaches the girls team at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul. “No, it would not.”
Flint said she wants to know whether the flag was displayed because Roosevelt’s team is mostly black or has it been brought to previous Jordan home games.
In any event, she continued, “Why is politics being represented at sports? Is there an intimidation factor? … I think it’s divisive in this racial climate that we have.”
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