The nation’s heated rhetoric is found not only in the debates over Arizona’s controversial new immigration-enforcement law, but on the soccer fields of the nation’s schools.
A recent championship soccer game between two Nebraska high schools moved past the sports pages after students at the primarily white Lincoln East High School threw fake green cards on the field as their classmates celebrated a victory over students from heavily Hispanic Omaha South High School.
Some Lincoln students were suspended for card tossing, and others traveled back to Omaha on Friday to meet with their upset peers at Omaha South.
As the Lincoln Journal Star’s Margaret Reist reports, this kind of racially-motivated stunt is not new.
Mike Zarate, who coaches high school soccer in Lexington, a Nebraska town dominated by a meat-packing plant and with a large Hispanic population, told the Journal Star his soccer players have regularly heard jeers questioning their legal status.
He’s encouraged his players to shut out the noise and focus on soccer, but hopes the attention the Lincoln East incident has received will help start a real conversation about how some students are treated.
“We can all learn something from this,” Zarate said. “The problem is out. It’s no longer in the closet, so what are we going to do about it?”
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.