Ardrey Kell suspends basketball player before West Charlotte game for using racial slur

Player suspended after racist post

One night before Ardrey Kell High is scheduled to play West Charlotte in a state quarterfinal boys basketball game, the Knights have removed one of their top players for using a racial slur on social media.

The Ardrey Kell player, who is white, used the slur in a post on Snapchat, a social media app where posts usually disappear shortly after they are created. The player’s post was captured in a screenshot and shared across different social media platforms Monday.

In the post, the player uses the slur in referring to West Charlotte.

Responding to an Observer inquiry via text, Ardrey Kell coach Mike Craft said the school found out the player’s post Monday night.

“A very swift and appropriate decision was reached to immediately suspend the player indefinitely,” Craft said. “The player will not be with the team or at the game (Tuesday). The individual comments that were made are not representative of the values of our program, the AK school community, or the expectations we have of our student-athletes. No further comment at this time until our administration and athletic department has an opportunity to look into the situation further.”

Champions rise to inspire greatness by doing their best, not by bringing others down. A CMS student athlete used a racial slur on Monday, March 4 in a social media post related to the upcoming NCHSAA regional semifinal basketball game between West Charlotte HS and Ardrey Kell HS. Racist behavior and actions are repugnant to educational ideals, contrary to CMS and community values, and will not be tolerated within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The student athlete has been suspended indefinitely from athletic participation. CMS also continues to investigate this matter and further disciplinary actions may be taken according to the CMS Student Code of Conduct. The district asks students, families and the community to give the student athletes of West Charlotte HS and Ardrey Kell HS the support and respect they have earned and deserve as they compete for the NCHSAA regional semifinal title tonight. CMS wishes the best of luck to both teams.
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

The parents of the Ardrey Kell player also provided a statement to the Observer:

“As a family,” they wrote, “we are devastated and so is (the player). While we stand by our son, and love him deeply, we do recognize the wrong and hurt caused by careless words. We do not believe his words represent who he is as a person, his overall character and his heart towards others. Being part of a diverse community is significant to our values as a family, but it is clear from today, that there are more conversations to be had as today’s words don’t reflect the tone of our home nor (the) true heart of our son.

“(The player) is ashamed and deeply sorrowful for his word choice. He has met with his teammates, coaches, and principal and personally apologized. And for the many who (he) will never get to speak to regarding today, he is sorry.“There is no excuse for words like this. (He) is firmly aware of that and holds himself accountable for his careless action. We as a family, stand by his suspension, and believe firmly that (the player), our family, and prayerfully, our entire community will grow from this. “

There have already been tensions about this game after the N.C. High School Athletic Association made West Charlotte move the game to Vance due to limited seating at West Charlotte. The game will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Some West Charlotte supporters were outraged that the school couldn’t play the game on campus, some believing the change was made along socioeconomic and racial lines.