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Cheerleaders apologize for Trail of Tears reference

Posted at 7:42 AM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 07:42:00-05

Cheerleaders at an Upper Peninsula school have apologized to Indian tribes for an offensive poster that was displayed at a basketball game.

The sign said, "Hey Speedboys, Get Ready to leave in A Trail of Tears!! Round 2." Trail of Tears is known as a historical reference to the forced removal of Cherokee Indians in the 1830s.

The Daily Mining Gazette says the sign was displayed at a Feb. 7 game between Wakefield-Marenisco and Bessemer, whose nickname is Speedboys.

A letter to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community was read at a tribal council meeting Tuesday. The Wakefield-Marenisco cheerleaders apologized for what they described as their "lack of good judgment and sensitivity."

Superintendent Cathy Shamion says students didn't recognize the connection to U.S. history.