A group of hockey fans at a South Dakota minor league hockey game reportedly yelled racial slurs and dumped beer on a group of Native American children over the weekend.
Justin Poor Bear, a dad who chaperoned 57 children from the American Horse School to a Rapid City hockey game took to Facebook to fume over the drunk fans that forced his group to leave early.
“They were getting drunk and around the third quarter they were talking crap to our kids and throwing down beer on some of them, including our staff and students… telling our students to go back to the rez,” he wrote on Facebook.
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Poor Bear acknowledged that he then got a little heated after the beer and slurs were slung at the students. Poor Bear said he did swear at the men … who (according to Poor Bear) “invited” him up to the VIP section to “fight about it.”
The school chaperones decided to take the students out of the civic center because of the altercation.
There is a little confusion over who the chaperones contacted at the civic center when this altercation was happening. But the civic center management did become aware of the problem by the time the students were leaving.
Craig Baltzer, executive director of the civic center, says “I’ve never seen anything like this before. Some of the things being said to the children were racially charged. I don’t know how to perceive people would behave that way.”
For the last five years, the Rush – according to Baltzer – has invited the students to a game. Until Saturday, the students have had good experiences.
“I’m very disappointed in how people behaved,” Batlzer said. “We have to bring these kids back to have a good experience.”
The arena has several suites, some rented by companies for the entire season. Baltzer declined to tell KOTA Territory News what company has the suite. That company, Baltzer said, has “been a great partner. I don’t know what to say.”