Iowa HS Baseball Player Allegedly Faced Racist Taunt While Batting During Game

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 16, 2021

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 08: A bat and glove sit on the field during batting practice before the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Arizona Diamondbacks at RingCentral Coliseum on June 08, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Ryan Wood, who plays at Norwalk High School in Iowa and is of mixed race, was on the receiving end of a racist taunt, his mother, Lisa Wood, told George Shillcock and Matthew Bain of the Des Moines Register.

Lisa Wood said that after Ryan struck out during a game against Dallas Center-Grimes High School on Friday, the catcher clapped in his face and said, "Go sit down." After that, she heard either the catcher or someone else from the Dallas Center-Grimes dugout say, "Let him hang."

Wood added that all of the parents sitting near her heard the comment, although they couldn't pinpoint exactly who it came from.

No action was taken against Dallas Center-Grimes by the umpire, and DCG Activities Director Brent Buttjer denied anyone directed a racist taunt at Ryan Wood.

Buttjer said he was aware someone used a "common expression used in baseball when a person strikes out," and that he was told the expression was something other than "let him hang," though he would not confirm what he was told was said to Ryan Wood.

Norwalk and DCG are scheduled to play again on June 28, and Lisa Wood said that although neither she nor her son want that game to be canceled, they want someone to be held responsible for the alleged racist remark.

Lisa Wood said she and her son want the player responsible to be "suspended for multiple games or for the rest of the season," and for some type of action to be taken against the umpire as well.

Norwalk Superintendent D.T. Magee told Schillock and Bain the district was "providing support to the Wood family" but would not provide further comment while Dallas Center-Grimes is investigating the situation.