Bucs show support of classmates affected by racism

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:19 PM

Grace Kendra wanted to come up with a way that she and her teammates could take a stand against the racial intimidation episodes that recently took place at Grand Haven High School.

So the Buccaneers’ senior suggested she and her teammates swap out the white or black laces in their high tops with colorful tie-dyed shoelaces. Kendra said the brightly colored laces represent the multiple races of the student body.

“I went to the press conference on Monday and decided it was not only the administration’s responsibility, but the students’ responsibility, too,” Kendra said following her team’s 36-26 regional championship win over Grandville. “I figured my team could get involved, stand up and let our classmates know that it wasn’t right, so we decided to change our shoelaces so it would be seen by the fans.”

Kendra said she wants people to know that the acts of a few don’t represent the feelings of the majority.

“I knew I that I had to speak out when I learned about the experiences of my classmates,” she said. “I wanted to comfort them and reassure them that those racist acts don’t represent a majority of the Grand Haven High School’s student body.”

The Buccaneers were eager to take up Kendra’s cause.

“When Grace came to the team, I knew that we had to respond right away,” said junior Mallory Beswick. “The game gave us an opportunity to share our statement with the whole community.”

Kendra said she and her team are considering asking their fans to wear tie dyed T-shirts to Tuesday’s state quarterfinals game in a continued show of support for those who were discriminated against.

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