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Middlebury high girls' basketball players share how racist comments affect their team

A photo of a basketball with an empty basketball court in the background, out of focus.
Curtis Creative / iStock
The Middlebury Union High School girls' basketball team decided to not play a scheduled game against Enosburg Falls High School last week, citing what the team called a pattern of racist attacks against players. We'll talk with three players, and their coach, about the decision.

On Jan. 12, the Middlebury Union High School girls' basketball team was scheduled to play Enosburg Fall High School. But the game never happened. The MUHS girls' basketball team decided not to play, citing in an Instagram post what they described as three separate incidents where their athletes "experienced racist attacks from Enosburg spectators."

That same week, other girls' basketball teams — Burlington High School and Rice Memorial High School— postponed their games against Champlain Valley Union High School after a racially charged TikTok.

Host Connor Cyrus speak with three of the student-athletes from the Middlebury Union High School girls' basketball team about their decision. Our guests are:

  • Cady Pitner, Grade 12, Guard
  • Ele Sellers, Grade 12, Forward
  • Jazmyn Hurley, Grade 10, Guard

We'll also speak with MUHS girls' basketball coach Chris Atlemose to get his reaction to how the girls are feeling and the conversations that led up to the big decision of officially canceling the game.

Representatives from Enosburg Falls High School declined to join the show, but Lynn Cota —superintendent of the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union, of which Enosburg Falls High School is a part — shared a written message with Vermont Edition and the FNESU learning community.

Cota writes: "The news headlines are not the image of our students, schools, and community that we would want to have portrayed. Unfortunately, those incidents did take place ... While we have disciplined students for racist comments, we have invested, and will continue to do so, in learning and changing behaviors related to equity, justice and inclusion."

Broadcast live on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, at noon.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Connor Cyrus was co-host and senior producer of Vermont Edition from 2021-2023.
Matt Smith worked for Vermont Public from 2017 to 2023 as managing editor and senior producer of Vermont Edition.