High School Suspends Basketball Duo After '3' Symbol Is Mistaken for Gang Sign

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2014

Dec 22, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA;  Hofstra Pride players before the first half before their game against Tulane Green Wave at the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This one is going to make you cringe, folks.

The Sheboygan Falls school district recently suspended two of its high school basketball players after it believed they made gang signs for a picture in the Sheboygan Falls News. That would be a just punishment if any of the kids had actually flashed a gang sign, except that Jordan Jackson made the three-point symbol with his hand, while one of his brothers simply pointed at the camera.

Lacey Crisp of Today's TMJ4 has more:

They took one serious pic, and a goofy pic. The goofy picture ran. It's the brothers' pose that got them in trouble.

"When you make a three, everyone does this sign. You've probably seen LeBron James or someone do it. I did the three in the picture, and my little brother pointed at the camera," 

The Sheboygan Falls Superintendent would not go on-camera but says parents complained it looked like gang symbols. The school even asked the police department to look into the signs.

Jordan Jackson says he did not know it could be considered a gang symbol. "I had no idea. They told us it meant blood."

Two of the brothers have now been forced to sit out for the team's game against rival Plymouth. Sheboygan Falls is currently 6-6 on the season, but 2-6 in their conference, while Plymouth is 7-0 and atop the conference.

There will certainly be more to talk about in the stands than just the game, however, when the two teams meet.

The incident also caught the attention of the Wisconsin ACLU, which released the following statement:

It appears as if the Sheboygan Falls school district and police department are unprepared to respond to the increasing diversity in the schools in an appropriate and educationally sound manner. The ACLU will be seeking information from the schools in order to assess their compliance with pupil non-discrimination rules. The ACLU asks the district to immediately make the brothers eligible to play in tomorrow’s game.

There are so many questions to be asked here.

Have none of these parents ever seen a basketball player make this gesture before? Did they think to ask their kids if maybe it was something less nefarious than gang signs before simply assuming the worst? Did the Sheboygan Falls superintendent or police department bother to inquire about the nature of the symbols before jumping to conclusions? 

Does YouTube exist in Sheboygan Falls?

Evidence of the "three goggles," as they're affectionately referred to, isn't terribly hard to come by.

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 02:  DeShawn Stevenson #92 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after Dirk Nowitzki made a 3-point shot in the fourth quarter to put the Mavericks up 93-90 against the Miami Heat in Game Two of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It was a big enough fad to get its own write-up in The Wall Street Journal.

Don Ryan/Associated Press

Despite the sign being most popular in 2011, we saw it re-emerge at the 2013 NCAA tournament.

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Heck, there is an entire Facebook page dedicated to the fad.

Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Make this right, Sheboygan Falls. And know that until you do, the whole nation cringes in your general direction.

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