Roseville district says girls basketball racism allegation is ‘resolved’

Former players pushed back against claim.

The Roseville Area School District has completed its investigation into an allegation of racism that came out of a girls high school basketball banquet last month.

Citing data privacy laws for being unable to offer details about how the investigation was carried out, by whom or its specific outcome, a district spokesperson provided the district’s official statement on the investigation, which it had promised in the days after the allegation came to light.

“We take all of these matters and concerns seriously,” the statement said. “We looked into the alleged incident and have resolved the matter internally.”

The alleged incident came to light in a March 28 Facebook post by LaToya Turk, the mother of a Roseville Area High School girls basketball team member, claiming her daughter had been humiliated at the team’s banquet two days prior. 

Her daughter, who is African-American, was given a piece of hair weave as a gag gift from two white teammates, Turk wrote. The gift was met with laughter by those at the banquet, Turk wrote, prompting she and her daughter to leave. Turk also claimed her daughter and others experienced program-wide mistreatment of black players.

In the days after Turk’s post came to light, garnering media attention, including in this newspaper, people who’d been involved with the program disputed Turk’s claims, along with former Raiders girls basketball players who are black.

Jolisa Ross, who is now a freshman at North Dakota State College of Science and plays Wildcats basketball, said in a March 29 Facebook post she played two years for RAHS and transferred from a city school, encountering Roseville’s “suburban” culture. She said she understood how Turk might have misunderstood the gift-giving at the banquet.

“But coming from someone who knows what really goes on, this isn’t at all how it is at Roseville, especially within [Roseville girls basketball],” Ross wrote.

She defended her coaches and the two girls accused of giving the alleged racist gift, who she said she played alongside, before defending RAHS as a whole, which also came under fire in comments on Turk’s initial post.

“I was NEW, BLACK, and GAY, and I have never been more accepted than I was at Roseville,” Ross wrote. “Not just in the program, but in the school [itself]. Our school is one of the most diverse in the state of MN. Our Previous Principal who was also a women, was married to a women. Our current principal is a Black woman as well. As I said we are thriving with diversity.”

Teya Langston, another former Raiders basketball team member, who is now a freshman member of the Minnesota State University of track and field team, posted to Facebook on March 30 a strong defense of Roseville coach Jeff Crosby, who was also called out by Turk.

“[A]s for Jeff Crosby [I] trust this man with my life he has been nothing but good to me the 10 years that [I] have known him,” Langston wrote. “He gives everyone the same opportunity whether you make it or not is up to you ...”

Turk’s allegation came after the finish of the Roseville girls basketball team’s most successful season in more than a decade. The Raiders finished fourth in the AAAA state tournament.

 

— Mike Munzenrider


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