St. Louis Park High School refuses to play New Prague following alleged racist incident

The St. Louis Park High School athletic director has sent a letter to the New Prague activities director stating his school would no longer compete with New Prague High School after a “racist experience” last week.

Athletic Director Andrew Ewald said in his letter Monday that racist behavior was directed at the St. Louis Park boys hockey team during a game on Feb. 15. He said his decision to cut ties with New Prague was also influenced by more allegations of racism against another school in the Metro West Conference.

Ewald did not name the other school, but last week the principal of Robbinsdale Cooper High School sent a letter to families detailing “bad behavior” from New Prague supporters during a girls basketball game, including reports of spectators making monkey sounds at Cooper student-athletes.

St. Louis Park will not face New Prague at least through the 2022 spring season, Ewald wrote. The schools will reconvene once “the harm that was caused is repaired and we are assured that any of our stakeholders, most importantly our students, will not be victimized by racism by any New Prague stakeholder in the future.”

In the meantime, St. Louis Park will also remove New Prague’s banner from its gymnasium, Ewald wrote.

The athletic director also referenced some trepidation about initially allowing New Prague to join the Metro West Conference.

“As I said when New Prague High School was applying to the Metro West Conference, ‘I will not stand for your community and students to have teachable moments at the expense of our students,'” Ewald wrote. “Therefore, I will not tolerate or allow our students to further experience any racism while participating in athletics against New Prague High School.”

A New Prague Area Schools spokesperson acknowledged the racist incident at the boys hockey game and said it was “dealt with immediately” and that the school district does not “tolerate racist or hate speech by students or athletic players.”

“We sincerely apologize for this incident and make no excuses for the behavior,” the district said in a statement. “We are taking steps to work with our athletes, student body, staff and coaches so these types of incidents do not happen in the future.”

A district spokesperson provided the following statement regarding the incident involving Cooper High School last week:

“New Prague Area Schools is aware of allegations made regarding a girls basketball game last evening.  We take these allegations very seriously and are having an outside firm conduct a thorough investigation.  If they are substantiated, the district will take prompt and appropriate action.  We have a policy prohibiting racial violence and discrimination and strive to provide an environment that is welcoming to all.”


Read the full letter from Ewald here: