Published April 12, 2016
ABERDEEN, SOUTH DAKOTA— The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) on Monday banned two volunteers from any future involvement in wrestling tournaments after a review of their racist comments were captured on videos.
The two unidentified men were caught on the videos making derogatory remarks about American Indians during the weekend of April 2 and 3.
The derogatory comments about American Indians came to light after the parents of Nokosi Ringing Shield, 6, watched the videos of his matches on the AAU’s website. The videos have since been taken down from the website.
The parents, Justin and Nichole Ringing Shield, both Oglala Sioux Tribal citizens, were appalled at what they heard on the videos and reported the inappropriate comments to the AAU.
Native News Online published a story about the incident on Monday, which garnered many readers.
On the videos, references were made about long names American Indians have, the six-year-old’s ponytail and claims American Indians live off of the government.
“The two clowns will never be asked back to any of our events,” stated Bob Johnson, the national chair of the AAU wrestling committee, to Native News Online on Monday evening.
“My involvement with wrestling tournaments goes back to 1968. I don’t ever remember one incident like what this. As a matter of fact, this is the only time something like this has happened. The remarks on the videos should never have been made,” continued Johnson.
“I want the public to know the two men were not there to be commentators. They were there to keep score of the matches. It is too bad they said what they said and that the parents had to listen to such talk.”
Johnson said the AAU wrestling has a long relationship with American Indians participation and has enjoyed the relationship with them through the years. He said that AAU volunteers will be given cultural training so that nothing like what happened ever occurs again.
A second year wrestler, Nokosi took fourth place in the statewide tournament.
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