Youth football team hears racially-charged comments at Suns game
Chandler, AZ (KPHO) — A Valley youth football team was insulted by racially charged comments while at a Suns game.
The Chandler Pee Wee Bears are a part of the American Youth Football League and went undefeated this year.
But it’s a bit of a tainted victory, as parents say the team was hit with some racially insensitive comments as they tried to raise money to play in the national championship game.
“These kids, you know, they don’t have everything handed to them,” says their coach, Jay Trammell. “You know, they gotta earn everything they do.”
They went to a Phoenix Suns game, where at least one person, wasn’t a fan and said some insensitive things.
“Unfortunately, they were met with some adversity – some pretty negative things were said to the boys,” Trammell said.
The Suns said the comments, which weren’t repeated, goes against everything the organization stands for, and they gave kids Suns merchandise to raffle off.
“In the end, it’s a learned lesson,” said Trammell. “You know, you understand that you keep moving forward and they keep their class, and we look forward to going back to the Suns’ arena and being able to do another 50/50 (raffle).”
“If my son takes nothing else from football, it’s everybody is equal, they have an opportunity, they’re all on the field they’re all wearing the same jersey at the end of the day, we’re all the same people,” said Michele Gilbert.
The Bears are paying their own way to the national championship game next month in Florida. At the very minimum, they’re looking at $40,000 for travel, hotels, food and fees.
“We’ve been out to ASU games, Rattlers games. we’ve been out to a Suns game,” says right tackle Ethan Hammontree.
The team has a GoFundMe page to help them get to nationals.