Two high school students in New Jersey are being accused of racism after donning questionable costumes to distract rival players at a basketball game.
During the tournament game at Holy Spirit High School last Friday, the teens taunted players from the predominantly black Atlantic City High School while wearing monkey and banana costumes.
"I absolutely think it was offensive...You should know when you're putting that costume on, it should come in your mind that this might offend African-American people," one fan said.
But Holy Spirit High School's coach Jamie Gillespie is defending his students telling The Press of Atlantic City, "There's absolutely nothing that was intended to be racial whatsoever. It was a group of kids trying to have fun with something they saw on television... It was just kids not thinking through what their perception should be, but there was absolutely nothing racial and somebody is making something racial about it."
The school issued this statement, saying, "Holy Spirit offers our heartfelt apologies for offending anyone that evening. Holy Spirit High School does not tolerate any type of offensive or discriminatory behavior."
The boys have been issued a warning.