Students from a Des Moines high school were forced to apologize to refugees students at the school because they were wearing the colors red, white, and blue to a school basketball team that the refugee students were attending.
The students wore red, white, and blue attire, some of them wore shirts and pants were American flag designs on them instead of wearing school colors, which offended some. A mother of a student in the school district believed that wearing American flag colors instead of school colors implies “that the other team, the less white team, is less American.”
A local NBC affiliate reported:
Wheat, who played basketball at Vanderbilt and Iowa State University, has a history with both high school teams. “I went to two state tournaments with Valley High School.”
Valley students had chosen to wear red, white and blue instead of their school colors black and orange. “Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think what the hell are these kids thinking,” said Wheat.
The Polars team is filled with players who come from refugee families and fans took to social media wondering the same thing. “Kids are kids, I get it, but I do have questions. I want to know why.”
In the fall, Channel 13 witnessed Valley fans draped in red white and blue during a football game against rival Dowling Catholic a private school in the metro, hopeful giving Wheat some comfort after being awkwardly put in the middle of the situation. “It’s a little different because I’m the only one of the coaching staff that went to valley,” said Wheat.
It has become a recent trend where students across the state and across the country take part in themed nights during athletic activities. They have ranged from beach or hunting theme, to safari or American theme.