Cheerleaders from a Southern California high school were allegedly greeted with racist taunts by football fans of the other school, forcing the squad’s early departure, officials said, reports NBC BLK.
The ugly Friday night incident reportedly happened shortly after halftime of the Inland Empire contest between the visiting Valley View High School Eagles and the Temecula Valley High School Golden Bears.
The visiting Valley View cheerleaders, as custom, paid a visit to the home sideline at intermission to meet their Temecula counterparts and watch the halftime show together, Eagles cheerleading coach Kenya Williams told NBC News on Tuesday.
After the halftime show, the Valley View cheerleaders visited the snack stand and restrooms, available only on the stadium’s home side, and were allegedly greeted with hateful taunts.
“You have to go over there, so my girls, as they went through the stands, they heard from the crowd, making monkey noises,” said Williams, a counselor at Valley View. “It was like, ‘Did you heard that?’ ‘Yeah I heard that.’ “
Williams was back on the visitor sideline and didn’t see the incident. But she learned about it when other Valley View students allegedly witnessed it and reported to the counselor before her own squad returned to their side.
Valley View’s cheerleaders left early in the third quarter.
“My first instinct was, ‘Let me get the girls out of here,’” Williams said. “I didn’t know if they were going to follow the girls to the bus after the games was over. It was traumatizing to them.”
Five of Valley View’s 17 cheerleaders are Black.