Haddonfield, NJ apologizes for racial taunt of Black athlete
HADDONFIELD — The borough has formally apologized after a racial incident in which a white baseball player made “monkey noises” at a Black pitcher for West Deptford during a high school game.
Following the reported May 10 incident, Haddonfield investigated, confirmed and took appropriate remedial action, according to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.
In addition to a formal apology to West Deptford, meetings were held with every athletic program within the Haddonfield Memorial High School district to emphasize sportsmanship, an NJSIAA spokesman said.
The borough also started organizing a summer task force to address professional development for coaches and training for student-athletes.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and Haddonfield police department were also each investigating the allegation, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Haddonfield Schools Superintendent Chuck Klaus spoke at length during the May 19 Board of Education meeting on training athletes as community ambassadors and “taking ownership of who we are.”
That’s where he first suggested organizing an “action team involving parents, students, coaches and community members.”
“I’m not making excuses, I’m not sweeping it away, I’m not minimizing it,” Klaus continued, while saying something different needs to be done “to change this ugliness to be better.”
Both Klaus and West Deptford School Superintendent Gregory Cappello declined further comment on Friday.
In 2018, Haddonfield high school athletes also were under scrutiny after a reported racist incident, involving a teen lacrosse player using a racial slur against a female athlete at a track meet, as reported previously by Courier Post.