Sports

North TX students shout racially charged comments at Ft. Hancock volleyball team

Racially charged comments shouted at...

EL PASO, Texas - On Friday in Snyder, Texas, students from Archer City chanted "build a wall" and shouted other racially charged comments at the Fort Hancock volleyball team.

It happened while the teams warmed up for a regional semifinal match in the Class 2A Regional volleyball playoffs at Western Texas College.

Archer City is about a hundred miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

ABC-7 spoke with members of the Fort Hancock team, their coach and superintendent.

"It shocked our whole team because we didn't expect that to happen," said Miranda Galindo, a sophomore who helped Fort Hancock reach the regional tournament for the first time in 21 years.

"When they were saying 'build that wall' and holding the Trump sign, we knew it was for us," said junior Jenna Aguilar.

After hearing it during warm-ups, Fort Hancock coach Melissa Saldana called her team together.

"We huddled up and I'm telling you some of my girls were a little upset," Saldana said. "It was a little disheartening. These girls are like my own children."

Saldana said she told her team: "We've got to ignore what's going on. We've got to stay focused and we've got to get tough."

"We had one girl, her ball kept going towards the stands and she had to go get it, and they kept telling her stuff, to 'go back to Mexico' and to 'build the wall' and she got frustrated and she wanted to cry," Aguilar said.

Archer City's superintendent apologized for the incident, sending out this statement: "We have been in contact with Fort Hancock administration and have made apologies. They are receptive to our apologies. Comments such as this are not representative of our school and community. This type of comment is extremely unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

"What troubles us is that no game official, an official at the venue, even the officials at the game, school officials nobody stood up to put and end to this," Fort Hancock Superintendent Jose Franco said.

Fort Hancock lost the match, but prevailed in other ways.

"My girls they rose above and they handled themselves very well," Saldana added. "I think they came out of this stronger, stronger individuals, and I'm proud of them for that."

"We still feel this is the greatest country in the world and there's more good people than there are bad," Franco added, "so we'll just continue on."

Franco said he also received an email from the Archer City superintendent, saying he was "embarrassed, humiliated and devastated" by the incident.

He told ABC-7, in addition, he got a hand-written letter from an Archer City student that was at the game apologizing to the community of Fort Hancock.    


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