Sen. Ball Says Mount Vernon Is Also To Blame For Racially Charged Incident

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State Sen. Greg Ball said both Mahopac and Mount Vernon need to take action in the afternoon of the racially charged varsity basketball playoff game Feb. 27.
State Sen. Greg Ball said both Mahopac and Mount Vernon need to take action in the afternoon of the racially charged varsity basketball playoff game Feb. 27. Photo Credit: File photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- State Sen. Greg Ball said Mount Vernon is "equally responsible for the toxic environment" that led to the racially charged incident involving the Section 1 varsity boys basketball playoff game  between Mount Vernon and Mahopac on Feb. 27.

Both school districts are continuing the investigation into the incident, which was ignited after Mahopac students – eight of whom have already been suspended and assigned sensitivity training – posted racist Tweets after their school narrowly fell to the Knights 43-40.

“Let’s end the policy through press release and begin the hard work of uniting both communities by properly addressing the issue, without needlessly creating greater divisions," said Ball in a statement released Friday.

Ball represents District 40, which includes Mahopac and two other towns in Putnam County, as well as Cortlandt, Peekskill, Mount Kisco, New Castle, Lewisboro, Pound  Ridge, North Salem, Somers and Yorktown.

"Let it be clear, Mount Vernon is equally responsible for the toxic environment that was unfortunately created," Ball said in his statement. "Yet unlike Mahopac, Mount Vernon has yet to take action to hold their fan base and students accountable.

"The reporting of the recent Mount Vernon-Mahopac basketball game shows a one-sided presentation of the facts. A handful of bad actors on both sides were wrong. Mount Vernon must also be held responsible, for sadly, they too exhibited horrific behavior towards students, cheerleaders and athletes."

"Two wrongs never make a right, yet unlike Mount Vernon, Mahopac immediately took the accusations seriously and the district has used their appropriate authority to hold the individuals involved accountable. Mahopac conducted an immediate investigation, justly and proactively suspending eight students.

"In Mount Vernon no action has been taken by the district to hold bad actors accountable, in Mahopac the system is working and the ongoing investigation will be successful in holding all responsible accountable for their inappropriate behavior.

"Like Mount Vernon, Mahopac is a strong, faithful and loving community. Leaders in both communities must now take decisive, professional action during these trying times."

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How does one get to a point in life where they post comments like the ones that Nigel has offered up? Tell us, Mr. Hart... what were the 1950s like... in England where you grew up... a lot of Tweeting then too? Oh, you were born in 1967.

If Greg Ball were a Democrat and the Mahopac students black, Nigel would've breezed past this story and continued on with his gluten-free cheerios Saturday morning, rather than posting a comment. Instead, he turns his back on the reading comprehension skills I'm sure he has and declares that Ball is taking sides --which is code for: Greg Ball is a white, conservative racist. That fits better with Nigel's world view. The only reason the Senator even made a statement on this incident was because the media has blown it up to Bridgegate status. It's a joke. And when Ball did comment, he actually didn't play the blame game. He said fans on both sides were wrong, the Mahopac officials are doing what they should and appropriately punishing those who deserve it and that Mt. Vernon should do the same. Should be the end of the story --and this article. But, no.

Mr. Hart goes beyond his criticism of Ball and then calls another poster, Nina, a racist. In November, Nigel surfaced on the Daily Voice with "tea bagger" in his first post. Classy. It seems as though social media is a blessing and curse for him, just like it is for these stupid kids. Hope he doesn't Tweet!

What's not mentioned in these stories is how some kids will do what they can just to be mean. Sure, some kids may turn out to be racist. But, some are not. Some are just jerks who latch onto the most outlandish thing they can say to hurt their targets the most and get a rise out of them. Both are wrong, but there is a difference. And let's remember that 16 year olds will do things that they will shake their heads about in disbelief years later. "Juvenile" is a noun and an adjective. Many people 35 and over are lucky that cell phones, Twitter and Facebook didn't exist when they were in high school.

Lastly, both teams are totally lame for only putting up 83 points total. Fans should've been asleep, not sparring. At least neither of the coaches left the game early...

DavLee... Your comment would have been perfect if you had just left out the nonsense about "just because they're African American.". People who insert that type of garbage are trying to set fires because the smoke is advantage for them. The issue here, is whether or not Ball has any concrete evidence that suggests that the Mt. Vernon kids are equally responsible.

What evidence does Ball have that no one else seems to have? Or is it because the Mount Vernon team is made up of African Americans they must have been at fault also.

Your post is race-baiting and useless.
The Mt. Vernon fans were the problem, not the team. The Mahopac cheerleaders and players were getting it pretty good from the MV fans (especially the adults). Superintendent of Mahopac thought it was inappropriate. Grown "men" were throwing things at the fans (shirts apparently). There is a video that shows a bunch of middle-aged Mount Vernon guys standing at the foot of the bleachers near the end of the game, deriding the Mahopac students. One of the MV men also gestured up to the stands, apparently calling on one of the teens to meet him outside. Who knows what was fired back and forth.

None of this is to say that the Mahopac fans and their reactions both during and after the game were acceptable. I'm just addressing your "what evidence" question with respect to Mount Vernon.

You should do your research before making stupid, incendiary comments.

Greg Ball is defending his territory. That is to be expected. Its his job. That being said, lets get down to it. Sen. Ball is claiming that the Mt. Vernon boys behaved badly as well and had a part in all this. If they did, then I agree with Sen. Ball 100%. People should be held responsible for what they do regardless of their zip code. However, if Ball is going to put that forward, he shouldn't do it without concrete evidence to prove that the Mt. Vernon boys were behaving badly. There isn't anything specific pointed to in this article. There is very specific evidence of what the Mahopac boys said in the form of social media posts. I am not saying that Sen. Ball is wrong, but he should point to specific evidence. These are High School boys. As such, we all know they called one another names before the game. I think that the fact that they are High School boys is probably why they do not understand the power of social media and in this day and age I think it is time that we formally introduce education on the subject in our schools. Kids (and sadlydone adults) do not grasp what they are doing when they post to social media. When you post, you are sending a message to hundreds if not thousands of people and we should be teaching our kids the potential dangers associated with that in schools. We should teach them to stop and think do I want to send this message to hundreds or thousands of people? It is important and if Greg Ball or any other public figure wants to roll something positive out of this, it should be pushing for social media class at least in High Schools.

On this incident Ball is right. It takes both sides to create a a bad situation. Should we believe that Mt Vernon was 100% non gulity of ANY wrong doing here?

This is a sad post of our times. i am originally from yonkers and now living in mahopac for 10 years now. twitter face book and other social sites have become the runation of many because it becomes viral and instantly out there.
In my day, omg i feel so old at 43, lol, something like this would of happened. slurs would of might of went back and forth, maybe a fight, or maybe rumors of things said and it would of been over. not saying either time was right or wrong. just saying now things are more polarized because of social media.

and do you think sensitivity training will have any real effect on teenagers? we were all teenagers once, and i remember being abit stubborn on things and rebellious in my youth. and where do these racist things stem from? Parents, environment etc. i think better then sensitivity training, the 2 teams should be mandated to pick some one from the opposite team, then live a day or week in the others shoes. the i e, having dinner with the opposing sides family, and interact w the family. and the 2 teams should also do team building projects together, like comunity service projects for each town, side by side they work together. what could result from this? they all realize that they may differences, they may find they have more in common then one another. this is how this should be dealt with, not by sensitivity training watching videos and hearing some boring lectures as if kids dont have that enough in school, and having politicians banter on either side.

this also brings to mind a speech from the movie We were soldiers , where mel gibson address his troops before going to vietnam, where he names many races and religions and says we are moving into the shadow valley of the shadow of death, where you will watch the back of the man beside you and will will not care what race he is or by what name he calls god... so maybe putting both teams in a boot camp scenario might be another way to change there racist thoughts.

sorry for repost so many times, kept hitting post a few times and cant delete the subsequent accidental posts

Oh what a surprise, a politician that represents one of the school districts takes their side! Reading the news reports on this I thought I had been transported back to the 1950's. At the end of the day Mahopac just come off as very sore losers. Sports is a great leveler even for slug head racists.

Sore losers, perhaps.
But, answer this just so i am clear on some definitions.
who is a more of the racist?
1. the pimply faced high school kid, going thru puberty, who tweets a few pretty bad things --- OR, for instance:
2. Mayor DeBlasio, and all his power, who shuts down 3 very successful charter schools, depriving inner city children, specifically, a great education. And he is going after more of them.

Are they same, or is one worse than the other?

Calling a handful of 16 year old kids racists is asinine. A true racist is a really bad person and a it is very strong term to place on a person. So, people that 'toss' the term around like nothing should check themselves. You fuel small issues and make them worse - you are the problem. Likely a liberal position, camp of the great race baiters. The networks do it, our president does it, Al Sharpton and Chris Matthews are the masters, and the lockstep followers call everyone a racist. These are kids and they are being punished. Has MV taken any action yet?

Asinine? Really? We charge 16 year old with adult crimes all the time in this country. A true racist is some exactly like you who sees no issue here!

There you go again, calling people racist. Asinine comments - yes, very much so. Dumb kids at a game, do not a racist make. I recall a post you made calling people names too - Tea Baggers, in fact. Are you you a racist or homophobe? Personally, I do not care - but name calling is not productive or very mature.
What bubble do you live in? You don't think teenagers call each other names at games and in school? It is not nice, agreed, but not national news for people like you to create a further firestorm.

Did you even read the article? He is not taking any sides. He is just pointing out that the school in his district took swift and appropriate action, and has issued suspensions accordingly, unlike the school in the other district which is dragging its feet. To quote right from the article-
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"Two wrongs never make a right, yet unlike Mount Vernon, Mahopac immediately took the accusations seriously and the district has used their appropriate authority to hold the individuals involved accountable. Mahopac conducted an immediate investigation, justly and proactively suspending eight students.

In Mount Vernon no action has been taken by the district to hold bad actors accountable, in Mahopac the system is working and the ongoing investigation will be successful in holding all responsible accountable for their inappropriate behavior."