Bucs show support of classmates affected by racism

GH varsity girls team wears tie-dyed shoe laces in regional finals victory
Matt DeYoung
Mar 8, 2013

 

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.

Comments

sirhansalot

Remember this is the same group of girls who played dress up as native Americans for fun last week just 1 day after all of the -hit the fan. Why did the staff or coach not say anything to them? Now they are acting like they care about what's happen in there school? They are part of what's wrong with the school.Its like seeing an old All in the Family episode with Archie Bunker over and over again

Grandma7

okay they are showing their support with shoestrings...just wondering have any one of these girls embraced those that have been discriminated against,have they became friends with them are they reaching out to them or are they just keeping a safe distance and tying their shoes? Support is an action not a show!

MYOB

It is apparent that some would rather a problem exist. These previous comments do nothing to encourage any change. A group tries to do something positive and is met with ridicule.

sirhansalot

dressing like native Americans is a positive thing?

MYOB

I was referring to the shoelaces and the meaning behind them. The students appear to be able to look forward. Look for ideas to make change for the better. Learn from the past and make choices that can be positive to the community. I believe that is what is being asked of them from the community. Not sure that continuing to harp on the past will encourage that sirhansalot. Of course it makes for more argument to talk about negative things that happen, whick appears to be what you loath for, along with the rest of the media.

PeopleAreAmazing

Are the two of you serious??? Clearly, you are out of touch. To suggest that these girls are part of the problem is one of the most ridiculous statements I've read. It's amazing what hiding behind your computer will do to you. You really ought to spend your time learning how not to believe everything you read. I applaud these girls with their outpouring of support. Good Lord, your criticism is simply ridiculous. People like the two of you are why Martin Luther King said, "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity".

sirhansalot

peoplearamazing.... The girl b-ball dressed like Indians for what reason ,fun? Why would they? talk about wanting to draw more attention to themselves..Out of touch is on Friday dressing like an Indian and then on Wednesday acting like you care about diversity.

Eyeswideopen

I have tried to stay away from your posts but once again you have struck a nerve. I happen to agree with most people. Showing support by wearing colored shoelaces? Come on!!! They can do better than that. Adequate gesture and I supoose... it's a start.

As usual, unless we the people have the diva/soccer mom attitude you are accustomed to, you "strike back-full force" with your negative name calling. MLK would never want a quote of his used in such a disrespectful way.

You better believe diva's like you are the problem. Because in return--You raise diva's exactly like yourself. Parents like you are so wrapped up in being so perfect and having such perfect children, when in fact you are so miserable you have to bully anybody who crosses your path who isn't a part of your so-called diva clique. ZZZZZ!! Quit ranting and raving like a little school girl and teach your children but mainly yourself--- empathy and respect towards other's.

BTW. People are amazing!!! You got something right!!! I'm just not sarcastic when I say it.

Grandma7

where in my post am I ridiculing anyone...I asked a question,
I did not make a statement,if someone would like to answer the questions I asked and show me the positive,well,that would be great.another question...how do shoestrings encourage change...educating and action are what encourage change,not getting your shoestrings on tv

PeopleAreAmazing

Did you happen to read that Ms. Kendra WENT to the press conference? I'm betting that she didn't cross paths with you there........

PeopleAreAmazing

And, by the two of you.....I mean....."sir" and "Grandma".

PeopleAreAmazing

What's amazing here - and makes what your criticism even more ridiculous - is that this article exists because the team DID something. Had they done NOTHING - we never would have known, you wouldn't have been critical, and you wouldn't look foolish.

sirhansalot

the team should nothing but disrespect to native Americans

Grandma7

instead of going to the press conference I would be more impressed if she went to the girls house and hung out with them,that would be a positive step in the right direction.

PeopleAreAmazing

....or....she could do nothing - which is still more than you are doing by taking shots at people who don't deserve it. Your criticism doesn't help. It doesn't inspire.

MYOB

When you have a group as "popular" in the school as the defending Girls Basketball State Champions making comments in support of their hurt classmates, it can have a huge impact. Now you have others in the community asking "why are they wearing the shoelaces?". The reason is told again and again and hopefully it brings some change.

PeopleAreAmazing

And, let's remember that this is the team that won a state championship with a diverse team a year ago.

sirhansalot

OK so that makes OK to disrespect native Americans

Grandma7

I agree..It can have a huge impact to have the "popular" show their support...I think that by actually showing their support to the girls personally would be an even bigger show of support..This has been my point all along..I`m not be critical I`m being realistic,I was picked on all through grade school,I know how it feels...but one or 2 of the "popular" talked to me and socialized with me once I got in High school and it changed everything.By showing their friendship and support first hand to these girls will make others take a second look at their actions.

MYOB

Agreed! That would help a lot. Being realistic though, what it did was give you self confidence. So if someone was picking on you it probably didn't bother you as much. Everyone is picked on by someone no matter the school system. The popular kids are picked on by the older kids. More often than not there self confidence is high and they are able to deal with it better. Doesn't make it right that the older kids are picking on them, but doesn't make it as big of deal.

MR. WILLIAMS

This colorful idea of shoelace bright colors fits in perfectly with the similar trends of wearing certain color headbands, rubber and plastic color wristbands, temporary color tattoos, hats and other items that are supposed to show a persons so-called “commitment” to one cause or another. To me, it’s a cheap Politically Correct self-centered egotistical display that demonstrates a persons ignorance, bias, and lack of understanding about the conflict they think they are standing up to. To me a “color displaying participant” is about as sincere and dedicated to the “color cause” as a Bee is to an abstract drawing of a flower on a piece of paper. Among the many reasons I object to the “Colored Shoestring Display” by the Cheerleaders of a Public High School Football and Basketball teams is; this entire issue is one of an individual persons personal life belief feelings and to even suggest that everyone feels exactly the same about this specific issue is highly doubtful. What if there are Cheerleaders that have mixed feelings about this issue and would rather not participate in this colored shoelace protest? Can a Cheerleader choose not to wear the colored shoelaces? I can’ t see how the school could even rationalize forcing a Cheerleader or any participant in a school sponsored sports program to wearing any item or article of clothing that represents an outside cause for one thing or another that’s not directly related to the “Impartiality” that Public High School Sports is supposed to represent. Plain and simple; wearing a specific color or item that represents an outside issue or interest that is not a part of the School Sports Program should not be incorporated into any Official School Sponsored Program because it clearly shows a “Bias” towards an opposing point of view that is not allowed an equal display of opinion within the same realm. High School Sports fields during an official school sports event should not be a “Display Field for Advertising and Promoting” a social issue where the school is mandating the students to wear certain clothing or colors that support a bias point of view of a cause outside of the school’s sports programs. I would even go as far as to suggest that school athletes who are forced to wear clothing or wear items of color that clearly represent an outside interest would be of questionable legality.

MYOB

I highly doubt anybody is forcing anybody to do anything. Not sure what made you assume that thought. But, you know what happens when you assume! Again, some people would rather a problem exist. Heaven forbid you support even the smallest gesture that may encourage positive change.

Vladtheimp

What is clear is that for some folks, like SirMeathead and probably the formerly unpopular Grandma7, when it comes to a blown out of proportion racial incident that gives them an excuse to vent their considerable spleens, nothing will satisfy their lust for retribution short of the students of the high school donning hair shirts and breaking into a chorus of "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Whether necessary or not, the girls varsity basketball team exhibited their support for their classmates who were harassed and deserve nothing but praise and support.

sirhansalot

Vladtheimp,what if you are an native American? did they show respect when the team played dress up like an native American on game day

Vladtheimp

Respectfully, if I were a Native American I would worry about my family, the economy, the coarsening of our culture, the loss of free speech, political correctness, radical Moslems and terror, and many other things before I concerned myself about some high school girls playing dress up. I would work to correct problems like illiteracy, school drop-outs, illegitimacy and high rates of alcoholism and drug use on the reservations, and how the federal government stole money due us from broken treaties before I went on the warpath about half-time activities at a basketball game. I'm a proud Mick and find lots of things concerning, but not that citizens wear green on March 17th (in Ireland they don't), get drunk, and make fools of themselves to imitate the Irish, or that a major University calls itself "The Fighting Irish" and uses a pugnacious midget with pointy ballet slippers, often using a tobacco product as a mascot. In short, I would eschew hypersensitivity, man up, and grow a pair.

sirhansalot

Vladtheimp-dummy, If you were native American you would worry if you child is going to school on any given day and have to watch your culture be made fun of. Or asked if you live in a tepee or if you are a red skin or be taught that the native Americans just sort of disappeared {the truth is they were rounded up and killed} there food source was taken away by the us government{the buffalo} .... illiteracy, school drop-outs, are the reason for my comments ,Who wants to go to school every day and have to deal with school mates and staff making it difficult to learn. This issue is more then just black and white people issue it includes all races who are being discriminated at the school.....Keep the white faith vladdummy

BTL2A

Looks good on the surface, hope they and others follow through with actual change and actions.

itsgettingold

This would be the fourth article now on this tired subject.

GHpride

Alright as a student at GHHS I'm proud of what this team has done. I don't see anyone else trying to solve the problem. They as a team have atleast done something to show that we care as students about the problem. None of you know what actually Is going on because you just read the blown-out-of-proportion articles. Why do you criticize these girls when they are trying to make things better?
Secondly, sirhansalot you are so wrong about the Native American costumes. The first thing you are wrong about is that the team dressed up like this before a game. The game was for a boys basketball game on a THURSDAY night and the girls did not have game. Our student section likes to create theme nights to get students to come to the game and have a good time. Why was it such a big deal for the girls to dress up like the rest of the students? The second thing you are wrong about is that this is offensive towards Native Americans. Why is dressing up like them a bad thing at all? Native Americans are part of our culture. I don't think the kids planned to have a Native American theme night to disrespect Native Americans.

sirhansalot

GH PRIDE, then why not dress in blackface its is just a dress up thing nobody will care right?, grow up and learn move from grand haven and see the real world.

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