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Refs punish black soccer players after they complained about racist abuse

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A Pennsylvania school district has canceled all sporting events against another district’s schools after players and fans hurled racist abuse during a soccer game — and referees punished the black players for speaking up.

Penn Hills superintendent Nancy Hines said her district will not compete against any Connellsville Area School District teams until the incident during a Sept. 6 boys varsity soccer game is investigated and resolved, reported the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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Sophomore Jonah Silverman, who is white, said the racist taunts came after Penn Hills took a surprise lead early in the game, although Connellsville was “supposed to absolutely destroy us.”

He said Connellsville players called one of his black teammates a racial slur after the first goal was scored, 15 minutes into the game, and Silverman said they started hurling abuse at all the black Penn Hills players as the game went on.

“It was affecting our players,” he said.

Connellsville ended up winning 6-1, and Silverman’s mother accused referees of standing by and letting the racist abuse continue.

Lisa Silverman said the Connellsville student section harassed a black player during a sideline throw-in, and she said officials punished the target of the abuse when he turned around and told fans to “shut up.”

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“This ‘hands off’ officiating can lead to players taking things into their own hands,” Silverman said.

Her son said officials warned Penn Hills players to watch their profane language, so he’s sure they heard the racist taunts.

“Usually, if we say something to the refs, they at least say something to everyone about it and the players will stop,” the teen said.

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The Penn Hills superintendent asked for the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League to investigate actions by both students and officials during the game, and she won’t allow her schools to compete against Connellsville until the issue is resolved.

“It was so disturbing that it warranted our position and immediate involvement of WPIAL,” Hines said.

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Connellsville superintendent Joseph Bradley said he takes the complaint seriously and does not condone the alleged behavior.

“Let alone ones of the disgusting nature and or gravity of this type,” Bradley wrote in a statement. “At this point, CASD is fully cooperating with Penn Hills School District and the WPIAL as we seek to fully investigate, apply appropriate consequences or programmatic changes, and ultimately provide a teachable moment to all involved.”


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2020 Election

Trump and the GOP have become the party of the dead

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There are few morbid topics subject to greater speculation than the religious loyalty of President Donald Trump's "base." Why an alarmingly large amount of Americans refuse even to entertain any criticism of Trump deserves scrutiny from political scientists, psychologists and perhaps horror novelists working in the school of Edgar Allan Poe.

This article first appeared in Salon.

What is abundantly clear is that no matter who votes for Trump, he and the Republican Party on the national level have no interest in governing on the behalf of living human beings — with the exception of ensuring that a tiny minority of billionaires and multimillionaires enlarge their investment portfolios. Trump evinces no concern for Americans dying of the coronavirus, racist violence or any other malady or injustice. He demonstrates no regard for health care professionals courageously trying to save their patients from dying, and appears cruelly indifferent to the struggles of millions of workers whose livelihoods have been destroyed by COVID-19. Needless to say, Trump also shows contempt for Black Lives Matter, immigrants and anyone who opposes his re-election, which at this moment (and throughout his presidency) is more than half of the American public.

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As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode

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As Florida experiences a surge in coronavirus cases, the residents of the state are facing obstacles like overwhelmed hospitals and a looming shortage in beds.

This article first appeared in Salon.

There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)

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2020 Election

The GOP is a suicide cult

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Back in March, we argued that Donald Trump had become the charismatic leader of the dumbest suicide cult ever. There were fewer than 500 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the time, but it wasn't difficult to see the trajectory we were on at even that early date. At the time, we were commenting on the President's* repeated claims that the whole thing was a big hoax and polls showing that Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to say they were taking steps to avoid becoming infected.

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