Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash
Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash

At least two members of an Ocean County girls' middle school basketball team were taunted with disgraceful racial slurs by opposing players during a game this week, according to a published report. reports that girls from the Lakewood Middle School basketball team were called "homeless" and Black b------" by opposing players during a game Wednesday at Russell O. Brackman Middle School in Barnegat.

The report says one girl was called "homeless" repeatedly because she wasn't wearing basketball sneakers, according to a lawyer for the Lakewood school district. reports that attorney Michael Inzelbuch issued a statement about the incident Thursday.

Inzelbuch says the Lakewood district plans to buy basketball sneakers for the team members who don't have the proper footwear. 10 of the 19 players on the team don't have sneakers, according to the lawyer.

The incident has been reported to the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association and to the NJ Attorney General's Office.

Barnegat Schools Superintendent Brian Latwis said the comments should have been brought to the attention of the referees and coaches during the game “so they could be addressed immediately”.

“We take these allegations very seriously and have a detailed harassment, intimidation, and bullying policy in place,” Latwis said in an emailed statement to

“This type of alleged behavior is not tolerated and we are working to determine the validity of these accusations. We would have preferred to address this matter directly and more immediately, rather than be notified about the filing of incident reports through the media.”

My daughters are school basketball players, now in 9th grade and playing for Atlantic City High School. The idea of another child saying something like this to a young 7th or 8th-grade girl playing middle school basketball is simply beyond my comprehension.

If these allegations are true, the Barnegat School District needs to deal with the students who were responsible immediately and severely.

The values at the core of scholastic team sports are leadership and teamwork. If the team from Barnegat made those comments to the Lakewood girls, someone has definitely dropped the ball.

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