Coach says school missed opportunity by withdrawing from tournament after Trump banner controversy

"We missed an opportunity to use it as a teaching moment"

The Chad Hartman Show
January 21, 2019 - 3:22 pm

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The decision by Jordan High School to withdraw from a boy’s basketball tournament set to occur at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has stirred debate.

Did Jordan, whose fans drew national headlines last week by displaying a banner in support of President Trump during a game against Roosevelt, make the right decision? And did they do it to avoid detracking from the athletes, as Jordan Superintendent Matthew Helgerson claimed?

Larry McKenzie, a veteran boys basketball coach at another Minneapolis school, Minneapolis North, thinks that the decision let students of both teams down.

“This was certainly an opportunity to not only include the basketball games but to bring both of those teams, or four teams, together and have a discussion about race relations, and how do we make our country better?” he told WCCO Radio’s Chad Hartman.

RELATED: Chad Hartman: Naive to say that the high school Trump banner wasn’t a 'shot at people of color'

McKenzie added: “We missed an opportunity to use it as a teaching moment versus to go into defensive mode and to draw a line in the sand.”

He said he also worried about future consequences, including if teams from Greater Minnesota would be less willing to schedules games with teams from the Twin Cities.

Listen to the full interview here:




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