It seems a student at Hampshire College in Massachusetts noticed players from a visiting women's basketball team sporting hair braids not too long ago — and that apparently proved too much for her to handle.
According to court documents, the Hampshire College student stepped up to the Central Maine Community College players at the Jan. 27 game and demanded they remove their hair braids, citing “cultural appropriation,” the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.
As you might expect, the visiting team — which crushed Hampshire 91-39 — didn't obey the student's order and proceeded to leave Hampshire's Robert Crown Center, the paper said. Then things reportedly got nasty.
The Hampshire student allegedly started a physical fight with one of the Maine players, the Gazette said, citing court documents, and another Hampshire student pulled a player's hair until she fell to the ground.
Police said the Hampshire student who allegedly started the fight, then kicked and stepped on the Maine player, injuring her, the Gazette reported.
Then when another Maine player tried to intervene, court documents said that same Hampshire student “grabbed her by the head and threw her to the ground,” the paper reported, adding that the second Maine player was scratched in the scuffle.
What's more, even as coaches were breaking up the fight, court documents noted that the Hampshire student tried punching the Maine players and “was screaming swears and racial slurs,” the Gazette said.
Carmen Figueroa, 20, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Eastern Hampshire District Court on Friday, the paper said.
Hampshire College confirmed Figueroa is a student but declined to comment on whether she was or is a member of the women’s basketball team, the Gazette reported.
Figueroa was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled to return to court in May, the paper said.
As you might recall, Hampshire College was at the center of a national controversy after its American flag was lowered in the wake of violence that that erupted around the country when Republican Donald Trump was elected president — and then the flag was burned the night before Veterans Day.
The school then took down the flag, in part to examine “racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors,” school President Jonathan Lash said.
That spurred at least 1,000 veterans to descend upon Hampshire College on Thanksgiving weekend in protest of the flag's removal. Finally the flag was raised to full staff once again in early December.
(H/T: Heat Street)