Clear Creek Amana football player target of classmate's racist social media post after kneeling for anthem

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A racist social media post emerged Friday night disparaging a Clear Creek Amana football player for deciding to kneel for the national anthem.

A photo on Snapchat taken during CCA’s home game with Marion appears to be from the CCA sideline or stands. Senior Darius Moore is circled in red, with the words “kick this (expletive) n***** off the team like honestly who the (expletive) kneels for the national anthem.”

The Clear Creek Amana School District issued a statement Saturday afternoon regarding the post, which came from a fellow male student.

“The Clear Creek-Amana Community School District, as an educational institution, supports the free exchange of ideas embodied by the First Amendment,” the statement said. “The District will not interfere with a student’s right of expression by peacefully kneeling or sitting during the traditional standing for the National Anthem.

“Our schools pride themselves on providing a respectful learning environment for every student. It is District policy and practice that students will not be discriminated against in the education program, and that harassment or bullying of students will not be tolerated. Any conduct which violates these policies will be handled by school officials in accordance with law.

“It is our hope that students, parents, and the community alike will take the opportunity to learn from this situation.”

Moore is CCA’s leading receiver. His father, Darryl, played basketball at the University of Iowa.

Darryl Moore is African American. Darius’ mother, Marisa Cummings, is Native American.

“For these words to be used towards our son, a young man who is attempting to do what he feels is right and how America is supposed to be, shows how far we have regressed,” said a post on the combined Facebook page of Darryl Moore and his wife, Shawna. “All we can do is pray that people open their minds and understand that we don’t all have to agree to show basic respect to one another.”

Cummings said Darius’ sister, Nia, elected to take a knee during the national anthem at a volleyball game she recently played for Sioux City West, and also experienced social media vitriol.

“It was a barrage of hate, something similar. Using the ‘N’ word,” Cummings said. “Then also a lot of support. So I guess what I’d like to say is I’m really appalled at the negativity and the racism, but it’s something we live with every day, and that is why my children decided to take a knee. Because of the racism they have experienced directly.

“I am happy to see all of the allies. We know that social change happens when people start to call out each other. To see so many people support Darius and support our family is really powerful and making a statement in and of itself.”

Cummings said the family knows who originated the Snapchat post. Darius Moore said in a Twitter direct message conversation with a Gazette reporter Friday night that he had transferred schools in seventh grade because of racism issues.

He said he is resolute in not letting this incident affect his future behavior when it comes to deciding whether or not to kneel again for the national anthem.

“It’s time people here know what happens behind the scene(s),” he said. “It really doesn’t affect me. I’m not at all afraid or reluctant. This just demonstrates my reasoning for all of this.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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