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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 joined Vermont Public as host and senior producer in March 2021. He was a morning reporter at WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island. A graduate of Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University), he started his reporting career as an intern at WPTZ, later working for WAGM in Presque Isle, Maine, and WCAX Channel 3, where he covered a broad range of stories from Vermont’s dairy industry to the nurses’ strikes at UVM Medical Center. He’s passionate about journalism’s ability to shed light on complex or difficult topics, as well as giving voice to underrepresented communities.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.