JHS Basketball Game Spawns Racism Claims by School Board Member

Three controversial technical foul calls during last week’s Jacksonville HS boys basketball game against Lanphier have caught the attention of a Springfield school board member.

Springfield Public Schools District #186 board member Judy Johnson questioned whether the calls against Lanphier during the game played at the JHS Bowl were racially motivated, given that the officiating crew was all white, as is most of the Jacksonville team.

Springfield Superintendent Jennifer Gill declined to comment on whether she thought that race was affecting calls during the game, but thinks that having more diversity on officiating crews makes sense. Gill believes the Lanphier complaint could result in discipline for the referees, but if that happened, such discipline would probably not be disclosed publicly. Gill also says that it is unlikely that the game result would be changed.

Johnson, who is African-American, called on the Illinois High School Association to hire more black game officials.

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18 thoughts on “JHS Basketball Game Spawns Racism Claims by School Board Member

  1. Jennifer Gross

    I’m not weighing my opinion on this as I was not present at the game, however I believe that before making such a statement one needs to have more information about how the referee’s actions are similar or different in regards to other games they have officiated. Upon information I received, similar actions occurred during the JHS versus Chatham game. I think we need to consider that the actual problem may be lack of sportsmanship displayed by players and parents regardless of race. Perhaps we need to take a step back and learn respect for referees and respect for their calls during games. We need to remember that the referees have different angles of view then the fans and have to make split second decisions during a highly physical game. For instance, how many times during a professional football game does a call go to video review and people still disagree about the call. I believe as a society we have become so focused on winning and being competitive that we have lost are civility in being respectful to officiants, coaches, and other teams players and parents. In the end a foul is a foul regardless of who committed it and kudos for the officials for making the calls necessary. Hopefully as a society we can learn to have more respect for them.

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  2. A

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have read. Racism, during a boys basketball game? Are you kidding me…? Now I understand there are still people who are racist in these days but we are no longer living in the 1930s, this is 2016… Calling racism during a JHS basketball game just because most of the team is white is absurd. More black students could try out for the team, they will not be turned down to play. Along with more black refs, they could apply for the school but they obviously haven’t and that isn’t racist.. This is not racism unless someone was directly yelling at another using racial slurs and if that is true I will re-tract my statement. While I agree there should still most definitely be an awareness to racism, racism doesn’t just mean black on white either which everyone seems to have forgotten that recently. But you want to know the secret to ending racism? STOP bringing it up. Just like I stated earlier this is 2016 now and not the 1930s, we have finally came to a point in time where every man and woman, no matter color or race is treated equally. We’ve been living MLKs dream for years now and I have no idea how people have failed to see that. This is just insane and I’m getting tired of hearing the race card pulled for literally everything. Are we trying to end racism or keep it alive and well? Because using it for no reason other than “oh there’s too many white people so that’s racist”, is actually racist. People would flip a lid if a white board member said during a game there were too many black people and there needs to be more diversity.

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      1. A

        Either way, to claim racism because of it is absolutely ridiculous. Bad calls are made in every game regardless of race or color. Take the loss and stop claiming racism. Saying something is racist because there are too many white people is no better than a white person saying there’s too many black people. To end racism we need to stop having double standards and stop bringing it up. This crap is getting out of hand.

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    1. Ricky

      You are out of your mind I you think everyone is treated equally maybe you have been living the dream but everybody else is living in reality. Basketball is just a game and this just shows that racism is alive and well. I take it you are black why don’t you go window shopping at the gold exchange and see how you are treated wake 500 years still not free.

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    2. Leslie Pevey

      White privelege is real. You are tired of the race card being pulled, be happy that is a relatively easy burden to bear. We have been living Martin Luther Kings dream…? Every man or woman no matter what race is treated equally..? I’m not sure which alternative reality you are living in. My advice is to talk to some folks, better yet listen to some folks. ..maybe some women who do the same work as men yet don’t get the same pay or some Black friends that do face micro aggressions and discrimination.

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  3. Retta

    Officials for varsity contests are not hired by the schools- they are assigned to games by a conference assignor. The school does not choose the officials.

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  4. racial educator

    We are all biracial , meaning all of us in America are half breeds, none of us are pure bred. So my question is that when someone is screaming things are racist, wouldn’t that person be guilty of being racist? Just because someones skin is a different color does not mean they are of a different race, it just means that their skin is a different shade of light or dark…..we are a mixed society. I have mixed kids, a couple of them are dark and a couple of them look to be white . If you don’t know them you would be quick to judge them by their color….that is racist!

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    1. Irish81

      So are you saying that a person who is of Irish-German descent can’t be racist towards someone of Asian-African descent? I’m sorry, but this statement is both contradicting and confusing.

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  5. Mo

    My understanding is that those same refs threw a white Dad and his white mother(the players grandmother) out of a Chatham game recently.

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  6. William R.

    Racism has many forms, sits in many offices & positions of authority, & can be utilized or dispersed in many facets! Just because we are talking about officiating a high school basketball game DOES NOT mean that racism can’t apply.. Who can emphatically say that a referee is or isn’t racist? Officials have directed the outcome of game for years on many professional level I.e. NBA, NFL, NHL, etc games so why not high school.. One wrong call, or missed call can change not only the momentum of the game but, also the players mental focus from the game to the feelings caused by these unfair refing practices. So don’t try to minimize racial bias because you then start to sound like a racist or a supporter of racism yourself!!!!

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  7. Terry Young

    Couldn’t one make the same argument that it is racist not to have more white players on the team? But I know better, they can’t put white kids on if they don’t try out. But applying her thought process perhaps she should make a call for the IHSA to demand more white kids be put on the team.

    I say this tongue in cheek because if African Anericans don’t sign up to become officials how does she suggest the IHSA hire more of them as officials. Same theory for not having more white kids on the team.

    She should probably worry s little more about graduation rates and test scores in the district. Seems like misguided priorities to me.

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    1. Leslie Pevey

      Yeah because systemic institutionalized racism has no effect on how well a student does in school and why concern ourselves with racism at school function or in school at all…..my God.

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    1. Leslie Pevey

      And you know they have not studied or taken the tests? It’s very easy for those of us who are priveleged….to look at this from a simple perspective…unfortunately racism has many layers and many consequences.

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