STEM Academy asks TSSAA to investigate alleged racial slur used by referee during basketball game

Posted at 2:37 PM, Nov 18, 2021

SMYRNA, Tenn. (WTVF) — The TSSAA has launched an investigation after a Nashville school alleged that a referee used a racial slur towards one of their players during a basketball game.

The basketball game occurred Wednesday at Smyrna High School versus Nashville STEM Preparatory Academy. Nashville STEM Academy issued a letter Thursday morning, asking for the TSSAA to investigate the matter and permanently suspend the referee.


The letter reads in part, “As clearly seen on the game tape, and as shared by witness accounts, the white male referee approached the 14-year-old black female player in an aggressive manner and called her the N-word." The school said “multiple students and parents witnessed the incident.”

"This incredibly offensive, racist event underscores the institutional racism that exists within athletics, as well as within the TSSAA organization," Nashville STEM wrote in part.

The TSSAA also confirmed it’s investigating the allegation and said it has requested game film from both schools.


Additionally, Rutherford County Schools said it is “fully cooperating” with the investigation. The district said Nashville STEM forfeited the game after the alleged incident.

“At no time has Rutherford County Schools been advised that a Smyrna player was accused of making a racial slur. However, the school district is fully cooperating with TSSAA’s investigation and is providing any resources necessary to ensure a thorough investigation. This includes video footage from the game and statements from those who were present,” Rutherford County Schools said in part via a statement Thursday.