James Franklin Jr has managed to earn the respect of all who come across his path. The Cathedral High School Senior, and leader of the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team has been battling the complications of Epileptic Seizures that have plagued him since birth. Some of these complications include needing Brain Surgery to help reduce the effects of these lifelong seizures. Throughout the turmoil, Franklin has managed to be resilient and upbeat, gaining the admiration of his peers, teachers, and coaches.
The Center Grove High School Crowd had No Respect for the fight Franklin has put up throughout his life — And even Rodney Dangerfield himself would be disgusted by the inappropriate display from ignorant participants and enablers on the Center Grove Side of things.
In the first half of Friday’s match between the Center Grove High School & Cathedral basketball teams, while Franklin was at the free throw line, one of the Leaders of Center Grove’s “Student Spirit Section” had a mock-seizure near the baseline of the court — met with encouragement and cheers from the rest of his peers.
Going even further to escalate the problematic situation, The Center Grove Hoops Social Media account doubled down on the mockery of the Black Student after the game– calling the ringleader of the clown show “the man” and “the new king of the free throw distraction”
The incident has been met with a string of backlash, even gaining attentional on national media outlets. However the IHSAA, who governs Indiana High School Sports, has since tweeted on the situation with what can only be seen as a weak, virtually non-response. Stating only that their “administrators are addressing the situation” and that they will “use this as a learning experience”.
Center Grove is no stranger to controversy, earlier this year many parents and students rallied around a coach who was reported to have been verbally abusive to his athletes. Alleged incidents of racial insensitivity and outright white supremacy also have tarnished the reputation of the South-Side school. Demographics shows that only 1% of Center Grove’s student body are Black, with 89% identifying as Caucasian.
As the controversy appears to not be dying down, more speculation remains over whether IHSAA will have a more substantial response to this racially sensitive situation. IHSAA has been known to come down with harsh penalties against predominately black athletic teams, so many wonder what warrants this disgusting and embarrassing situation not even getting a slap on the wrist?