"Monkey" or "Go Eags"? You make the call.
After their fans were accused of yelling "Monkey!" at Black players from an opposing team, administrators at a Catholic high school in Iowa alleged that the students were actually saying "Go Eags!" – which is short for "Golden Eagles."
Students from Wahlert Catholic High School were also accused of making monkey noises and using the N-word, during a "heated" girls' basketball game against Waterloo East this week, according to a report from ABC Channel 9.
However, administrators from Holy Family Schools — which oversees Wahlert high — said they conducted "a thorough investigation" that exonerated the students.
"Numerous individuals, including students, parents, coaches, referees, and administrators, who were present at the game, have been interviewed," the administrators wrote in a letter addressed to "the Golden Eagle community."
"Footage of the alleged behavior has been closely reviewed, and Holy Family representatives have been in direct contact with representatives of the Waterloo Community School District to fully understand the circumstances surrounding last night’s game," the administrators wrote. "Central to the allegation is a video presented as evidence of the misconduct. We believe there has been a misinterpretation of a common Eagle’s Nest chant, 'Go Eags,' resulting in an unfair judgment of our students’ character. Our investigation has brought to light no credible evidence of inappropriate behavior at last night’s game. Rather, in this instance, all evidence calls to light the strong character of our community."
One representative from Waterloo East High School, El Sara Greer, told the station she isn't buying the explanation from Wahlert administrators.
“Why wouldn’t you say 'Eagles' if that’s what you wanted to say?” said Greer, who is Black. “They had never said 'Go Eag' (during) the JV game, they had never said 'Go Eags' the rest of the game, why would you say that out of nowhere?”
Greer, who works at Waterloo East and helps out with the basketball team, said players also told her they heard Wahlert fans use the N-word.
“I did not hear it, my teammates heard it," Greer said. “They said, 'Coach, El Sara, they were saying the N-Word.' They said it, there’s nothing else it could have been.”
Listen to audio of the alleged "monkey" chant here.