Teen athlete says she was called racial slurs during weekend competition

- A New Jersey teen was left shaking from a bus ride at an athletic event. She says during a regatta two competing rowers began harassing her and called her a racial slurs.

"I felt abused especially since I was the only African Black American woman," said 16-year-old Myasia Joga as she describes the hurt and anger she's felt all week after what happened to her Sunday.

"It got to me so I'm a little bit stressed out," said Myasia.  She was with her team from Absegami High participating in rowing championships for schools in Atlantic County.  It was held at Lake Lenape.

"They had no reason to say that and start all this mess," she said. After the races Myasia got on a jitney to go to the other side of the lake.  Her teammates were on another bus ahead of her.  She says boys from the Mainland Regional High School team got on directing racial slurs at her.

"Calling me Rosa Parks. One guy said that Rosa Parks was sitting in the back seat and now she sits in the front row."  Myasia says the two boys also said the N-word.

"I felt trapped in that moment and I just kept quiet.” She says she got off the bus and went to her mother Ulyes to tell her what happened.

"I was mad. I was mad," said her mother who also says her daughter was shaking.

"I went through all of this and I never thought my child would go through this," said Ulyes.  They spoke to officials at Mainland Regional this week who told them the boys have been disciplined.  Mysia and her mom say it's not enough.

"For someone to feel that they are privileged to say whatever they want and think it's funny," said her mother.  Myasia agrees, “They still probably aren't even affected by this so it needs harsher consequences."

The Superintendent for the district released this statement:

Statement from Mark Marrone, Superintendent of Mainland Regional High School, Linwood NJ 08221

“On behalf of the Mainland Regional High School, and especially the High School’s crew program, we would like to publicly apologize for the unacceptable comments made by two of our student athletes to an Absegami High School crew team member during an event this weekend. When information about the incident was brought to our attention, it was immediately investigated and the student athletes involved were disciplined. The comments made by these two students are not reflective of the policies and practices of the Mainland Regional High School community. We will continue to enforce our commitment to Mainland being a safe and inclusive place for our students, staff and those that we interact with, whether in our school or in the fields, through additional education and continued enforcement of our zero tolerance policies. Our actions demonstrate that any behavior or comments of this kind are not tolerated and have consequences.”

Myasia's mom says she was told the two boys won't be allowed to participate in any sports for the rest of the season. She points out there are only two races left.

 

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