Referee Denies Making ‘Racially Charged’ Comment Toward Coach That Led To Abrupt Ending Of Iowa City High Basketball Game

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Monday night’s high school basketball game between Iowa City High and Fairfield High was cut short after a referee allegedly made a “racially charged” comment toward City High’s head coach, according to the school and the school district.

The alleged incident unfolded after a City High player shoved a Fairfield player to the ground after a foul call.

City High coach Brennan Swayzer, who is black, declined to comment on the situation after the game abruptly ended. He was ejected from the game after the alleged comment from the unspecified referee, who is denying all claims that a racist comment was ever made.

The City High principal and the Iowa City Community School District sent an email to staff, students, and families of the school stating the “official directed a racially-charged comment toward our coach.”

“We want to share details about an unfortunate incident that occurred at last night’s boys’ basketball game in Fairfield. During the game, an official directed a racially-charged comment toward our coach,” the email read, according to The Gazette.

“The Iowa City Community School District never condones racism. We stand by our students and staff of color.”

Student-athletes were removed from the gym and City High staffers decided it would be best to forfeit the game. Fairfield police were present and an Iowa State trooper offered to escort the City High team out of town by following the team bus, according to a joint statement from Fairfield.

While City High and its school district have stated, not alleged, a “racially-charged” comment was made toward Swayzer, the unidentified officiating crew is denying all allegations.

“It’s concerning that the school district would put out a statement accusing the on-court officials of making racially charged comments without first speaking to the officials or the association, a statement from Iowa City Athletic Officials Association stated. “Accusations like this deserve to be fully investigated by the appropriate governing bodies and we welcome such an investigation and our members will fully cooperate.

“We have spoken to the officials involved and they categorically deny making any such statements. In fact, it’s completely out of character for all of them, and they are shocked and hurt by the accusation.”

Swayzer was not at City High’s game the following night with Frederick Newell serving as the team’s acting head coach.

Newell was asked if he heard what was allegedly said to Swayzer.

“It was crazy. That’s all I can say,” Newell said. “I can’t be specific at this point.”

Written by Mark Harris

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