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Mascenic athletes asked to remove Trump from uniform

  • Several Mascenic basketball players wear Trump socks. FILE PHOTO



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, May 04, 2017

A decision involving uniforms at Mascenic Regional High School is keeping politics out of sports.

An anonymous resident complained to a member of the school board this winter about political statements being made by athletes wearing school-issued uniforms and representing the Mascenic Vikings. Administrators stepped forward and instructed the students not to wear them anymore.

“There were community members that were concerned about making a political statement,” school board chair Jeff Salmonson said.

The controversy that forced reflection about student expression and a combing of the rule book came down to a pair of socks emblazoned with the president’s name.

“We’re pretty upset,” Micah Howard, a Mascenic senior on the basketball and volleyball teams, said. “I don’t know what it was since they’re just socks.”

Howard and a teammate wore the “Trump socks” throughout the basketball season, before the school board was asked to reconsider the uniform policy. Now, he has been asked by Athletic Director Kevin Rines to stop. Rines declined to comment.

High school sports rules are created by the National Federation of High Schools, but state governing bodies can amend rules. According to Peterborough resident and high school sports referee Kevin Chapman, the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association is mostly in line with the federation, with some changes, such as a mouthguard requirement. The National Federation of High Schools rulebook does not have a section regarding uniform socks.

In an email acquired by the Ledger-Transcript, Mascenic Regional High School Principal John Barth asked Rines to buy team socks for basketball and volleyball next year. Howard said the team took the initiative to match this spring.

“We all got together and got these, so it’s all good,” he said after a volleyball game, wearing white Nike socks with red stripe accents that match the Viking uniforms.

The school was already responsible for buying socks as part of baseball, softball, soccer and field hockey uniforms. Barth wants socks purchased for all sports.

The remaining ones without team socks are track, cross country and golf.

“Trust me,” Howard said. “I love wearing those socks, that was like my thing.”

Correction: A previous version of this story included an incorrect interpretation of an NCAA rulebook entry on socks. It also saiMascenic volleyball uniform socks are white with red accents.