Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Black Teen Athlete Transfers School After Official’s ‘Racist’ Comment About His Speed

Tony Humphrey screenshot
Tony Humphrey / screenshot

*A teen athlete in NYC is transferring high schools after a “racist” remark from one of the school’s assistant athletic directors.

Tony Humphrey, 16, a star baseball player at Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, stated that the decision was sparked after a conversation with a faculty member that left him furious. 

“He comes up to me,” Humphrey said of the administrator, “and asked why was I doing track.”

Humphrey explained to the assistant AD that he was trying to get faster.

“It never hurts to gain speed,” he said. But the administrator told the teenager that he “gained that speed by running from the police.”

“That was racist. There was no reason for him to say that,” he said.

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After Humphrey told his mother about the incident, they decided to pull the teen out of Iona Prep and transfer him to the public high school near his family’s home.

“I decided to leave, because of my current situation, as I’m already committed. I’m already going to [college],” he said. “I don’t feel like I have to stay at a program where they’re going to look at me different, or feel uncomfortable at a place I have to go to Monday through Friday.”

Humphrey said his previous experiences with racism at Iona Prep were ignored by school officials. 

“There were other instances of racism during my freshman year,” he said. “I took it up with the dean, I took it up with the higher ups, and nothing happened to the other student.”

Iona Prep acknowledged the incident in a letter to parents Tuesday, claiming an internal investigation into the matter is underway. The school also noted that the staff member at the center of the controversy had resigned.

In a letter to parents, Brother Thomas R. Leto, school president, called the man’s actions “behavior that Iona Preparatory does not condone for its students and will not accept from its faculty and staff.”

“One of the most important aspects of our school community — the acceptance and respect of every student — has been infringed upon,” said Leto. “On behalf of the administration and staff, I am deeply sorry to this student and those most offended and negatively impacted.”

“We remain fully committed to being an open, welcoming, embracing and nurturing community, where every young man holds a special place in the brotherhood of Iona men,” he concluded.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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