The NY Times has a fantastic story on what is apparently the United States’ first all African-American rugby team. Hyde Leadership Public Charter is a small Washington school, with a pretty disadvantaged student body, has somehow put together a rugby program with 45 participants out of a total male student base of 110. Their opponents are the predominantly private schools in the area who play rugby, and they’re starting to build up something of a rep, including a seven year unbeaten streak at sevens.
They started pretty rough though, with some classic American racism:
‘The first season was dismal. Hyde lost every game by more than 60 points. Bayer even encountered some difficulty scheduling games with teams from more affluent suburbs.
One private school attempted to back out of a game without offering a reason. After some prodding, Bayer said, he learned the opponents “were concerned that the kids would be driving expensive cars to the game and were worried that they would be broken into.”’
So anyway, the piece is pretty cool, and the stuff about the NZ embassy backing them to the hilt is great to read – though could haunt us if more African-Americans and less private school douches play the sport the US might get a decent team. But the video report is awesome (it won’t let me embed it, for some reason), and probably better than that amazing-looking Penn Badgley movie we’re all anticipating.
– Duncan Greive