High school basketball team tackles hate with T-shirts

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The Lower Merion basketball team on Tuesday caused a resonance by wearing the T-shirts urging to be tolerant and expressing solidarity with refugees. The black t-shirts with white writing included the words “I am a Muslim. I am a refugee. I am an immigrant. I am an American. I am an Ace.” As well as wearing the shirts, the boys interlocked arms and one kneeled down during the national anthem. The school district completely supports the boys and allows them to express their thoughts about the problem of the Muslim refugees in the USA.

“The district supports and respects our students’ right to express themselves and share their voices in an appropriate manner,” Doug Young, the Lower Merion School District communications director said in a statement on Wednesday. He added: “The conversations the kids had before they started doing this were very powerful. The kids were in fact very open, honest and forthright.” The head coach of the team added that he alsso lets the children to speak for the refugees if they want to.

A written statement from the team reads in part: “What we do want to convey as a full team is that no matter where you come from, no matter who you are, you should be welcomed, respected, and heard. As a team, we believe in fighting for the rights of all – protecting, defending, and giving voice to those who feel marginalised, who live in fear, and who face injustice. Lastly, we want to make clear our respect for those who serve and have served our country defending freedom and liberty. We are grateful for your contributions.”

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