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Racism and sports: A timeline of recent events from around the globe

Incidents reported in Ivey DeJesus’ story are an example of what has been seen nationally and internationally just in the past couple years. Some of these have received regional publicity; others have drawn coverage worldwide.

FULL COVERAGE: Read our full report on racism and central Pa. high school sports here.

APRIL 2014

* A fan throws a banana at Barcelona player Dani Alves in a professional soccer game in Spain. Instead of ignoring it or informing the official, Alves picks up the banana, peels it, eats it and then takes the corner kick with a mouth full of banana. The incident draws worldwide attention and praise for his response.

* Clippers owner Donald Sterling is heard on tape making racial remarks, leading to the NBA commissioner banning him for life and fining him. The incident leads to a week of national discussions in the media about sports and race.

MARCH 2014

* A school district about an hour north of New York City suspends three students after they send racist tweets in wake of a basketball semifinal tournament loss. Mahopac High School students also direct racist remarks at Mount Vernon High players throughout the Feb. 27 game. Mount Vernon City School District’s superintendent calls for a one-year suspension of the Mahopac varsity team. Mahopac’s coach, who is black and an alumnus, resigns.

* After a high school basketball game in Howell, Mich., several students celebrate the win of their all-white team over a black team by tweeting racist tainted jabs, including: “All hail white power. #HitlerIsMyDad”

* The Indiana High School Athletic Association launches an investigation into allegations that fans from a rural high school wore gorilla suits and hurled racial slurs at another high school girls’ basketball team. Fans of Bedford North Lawrence High claim the gorilla suits were part of a safari dress-up theme for the game against Lawrence North High.

FEBRUARY 2014

* Eight white wrestlers from Phillipsburg, N.J., are suspended from the state tournament after they pose for a photo in their school colors surrounding an effigy of a black rival hanging from a rope – a set-up many say evoked a lynching. No charges are filed.

Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin speaks to members of the media outside the office of the NFL lawyer investigating the team’s bullying scandal, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, in New York. The league is trying to gather information about the harassment Martin says he was subjected to by teammate Richie Incognito. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)John Minchillo

* The National Football League releases findings that show a culture of intolerance, racism and bullying throughout the league. The inquiry comes in the wake of an investigation into the Miami Dolphins and confirms that Richie Incognito subjected teammate Jonathan Martin to unrelenting hazing, including racial attacks. A distraught Martin walked away from the team last season. The report implicates two other starting offensive linemen — John Jerry and Mike Pouncey.

* The NFL declines to further crack down on use of the N-word or any other abusive language during games. The league had considered imposing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on any player who used the N-word during a game. League officials explain that players can already be flagged for obscene comments under the current rules.

* Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall retires from the NFL at the age of 26, citing among a number of reasons, weariness with a prevalent racist treatment. In a blog for The Huffington Post, Mendenhall writes: [...] Imagine having a job where you’re always on duty, and can never fully relax or you just may drown. Having to fight through waves and currents of praise and criticism, but mostly hate. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been called a ‘dumb nigger.’ ”

AUGUST 2013

* New Jersey becomes the first state in the country to institute new biased-language rules for high school sports. Any verbal, written or physical conduct related to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, disability or sexual orientation is grounds for disqualification. Referees must report any use of the N-word during a game to the state’s governing body for high school athletics. The player’s name and the violation are ultimately forwarded to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office Division on Civil Rights.

APRIL 2013

* Former New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent to play in the NBA, speaks openly about racial bias in professional basketball. Lin’s insights also underscore stereotypes across the news media and among fans.

FEBRUARY 2012

* Fans at a Friday night boys’ basketball game between two Pittsburgh-area rivals is marred by racism when, at halftime, fans of the nearly all-white suburban school run on the court in banana suits and make monkey noises to taunt the predominantly African-American rivals.

Source: http://www.pennlive.com/

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