Two Kentucky high schools issued joint statements disputing allegations that a Floyd County basketball player was harassed last December because he was gay.
Dalton Maldonado, a senior at Betsy Layne High School, made headlines after he shared his story to Outsports.com, a national blog that is part of the website SB Nation. The article has gotten Maldonado a lot of national attention. Earlier this month, he was recognized at Boston's gay pride event after he gave a speech.
In the initial article, Maldonado said that Betsy Layne lost by 32 points to Lexington’s Bryan Station High School during a high school basketball tournament at Lexington Catholic High School in December.
The teen told Outsports that he was verbally harassed on the court and the harassment continued when players for the opposing team followed his team to their bus.
After being questioned by his teammates, Maldonado told Outsports, "I finally stood up and said, ‘I'm gay, I'm gay, okay?'"
The joint statements said the incident, which was reported by Outsports.com, was nothing out of the ordinary, and while she acknowledged that there was some "unsportsmanlike conduct by both teams" during that game, Fayette County Public Schools Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm told Outsports.com that "what happened that day is not at all what was described" by the blog.
Helm told Outsports.com that the district's "players, coaches and administrators were unfairly maligned and it is important for us to debunk the absolute mistruths in the online report."
The report states that Fayette County Public Schools gathered information from the Lexington Police Department, The Campbell House, Lexington Catholic High School, student athletes, coaches, parents and officials from the Floyd County Public Schools who conducted their own inquiry.
They say sources quoted by Outsports.com told school district investigators that their comments were taken out of context and confirmed that much of the article was completely untrue.
Fayette County Public Schools has asked for a retraction.
Outsports says they stand by Their original story, which they say included eyewitness accounts.
The blog wrote:
"Outsports stands by its original story that Bryan Station boys basketball players called Maldonado a "f****t," and that Bryan Station community members attacked the Betsy Lane bus verbally and physically and pursued the bus in a vehicle, continuing an attempt to intimidate the Betsy Lane team.""Several named eyewitnesses have given testimony to that effect, and no named witness has refuted any of those facts. A 911 dispatcher labeled the incident a "terroristic threat," and the Betsy Lane coaching staff was so disturbed by the incident that they strongly considered pulling the team from the rest of the tournament."
Here's a link to the blog and the full school report is available at outsports.com.