Harrison man accused of ‘racist sounds’ at basketball game has been located by NorthArk officials

by Aric Mitchell ([email protected]) 976 views 

Labette Community College basketball team

North Arkansas College (NorthArk) appears to have located its Crow cawer, according to a new statement provided to Talk Business & Politics by Labette Community College (LCC) Director of Public Relations Bethany Kendrick.

Kendrick returned an email on Wednesday (Jan. 17) saying Labette players experienced “a continuous distraction of what could have been interpreted as inappropriate, racially-toned noises during the games.”

“LCC coaches and players believe the noises came from college-aged individuals and other spectators. The Parsons Sun sports reporter reviewed game footage and published an article detailing the incident,” Kendrick said.

LCC President Dr. Mark Watkins and NorthArk President Dr. Randy Esters have been in communication since the incident, Kendrick said, noting that Esters had assured them the college was actively investigating the incident and that “an elderly gentleman made the crow sounds.”

Kendrick said Esters told the LCC President that the man “did not intend any discriminatory ill will upon LCC players” and the man would “no longer be making such noises.”

In a statement provided to Talk Business & Politics on Monday (Jan. 15), Esters said NorthArk was “very aware of the allegations” first reported in a Parsons Sun article by reporter Sean Frye. “We take those allegations very seriously and will investigate them. To thoroughly investigate, however, we need to view the video that contains the alleged offenses. If those offenses were made by Northark students or employees, we will take appropriate actions to ensure it does not happen in the future.”

Esters said the college had not received any complaints from anyone who attended the game, “including coaches, athletes, officials or members of the public.”

“This situation is truly unfortunate since we make every effort to be inclusive and welcoming to all of our students, community and visitors,” Esters said.

Talk Business & Politics reached out to Kendrick on Monday as well as Frye to see whether NorthArk had received the footage — attributed to an anonymous source and not released in the report — to assist its investigation in light of the school’s statement. Frye has not responded.