Students walk out of NY prep school after racist comment from admin

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Tony Humphrey

Students at Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, New York walked out of class Tuesday afternoon in support of the Black student who transferred after receiving a racist remark from an administrator.

Tony Humphrey is a 16-year-old junior baseball star who has committed to play college ball at Boston College. Last week he sat with News12 and shared his story of an administrator from his school who made a racist remark towards him.

“He comes up to me and says, ‘I thought you were already fast as it is,’ And I said ‘Oh, I am decently fast,’ and he says ‘Oh, how did you get so fast? Running from the cops?’ It just came out like that,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey was running track to improve his speed during the baseball off-season. The administrator, assistant athletic director Bernard Mahoney, made the comment to Humphrey while on the track.

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Humphrey decided to transfer to a public school closer to his family since he has already committed to playing baseball at the next level.

“I decided to leave, because of my current situation, as I’m already committed. I’m already going to college,” Humphrey said. “I don’t feel like I have to stay at a program where they’re going to look at me different, or feel uncomfortable at a place I have to go to Monday through Friday.”

During Tuesday morning’s mass at Iona Prep students were informed that the administrator who made the comment had resigned. 

“One of the most important aspects of our school community — the acceptance and respect of every student — has been infringed upon,” school president Brother Thomas R. Leto said in Tuesday’s statement. “On behalf of the administration and staff, I am deeply sorry to this student and those most offended and negatively impacted.”

“We remain fully committed to being an open, welcoming, embracing and nurturing community, where every young man holds a special place in the brotherhood of Iona men,” Leto concluded.

1 comment

Joe Hepperle December 1, 2021 - 9:36 am

It is shameful that this Bernard (Bernie) Mahoney has judged this fine young Black man by the color of his skin rather than the Content of his Character. That truly IS racist (broad-brushing everyone of a particular race or ethnicity as ‘bad’ — or any other characteristic — simply because some people of that race or ethnicity are ‘bad’ — or some other characteristic).

What really irks me is this guy is referred to as being an Assistant Athletic Director. Although that is technically correct, it can lead to a misperception that this is some young Administrator at the school who has a lot of learning to do, and now has to find a new job.

But that is not the case. This guy is seventy (70) years old and until just this past summer he WAS the Athletic Director: Had been the Athletic Director at this school since 2004 (seventeen years!). Being past retirement age, he stepped down a notch when his own son, Ryan Mahoney, took over as Athletic Director at the school. Rather than retire (at 70 years old), he started riding the gravy train by stepping down to “Assistant” title — Assistant to his own son. What a racket. The school should never have allowed this. Every year there is a new crop of (non racist) young men graduating College with a Physical Education Degree, or other Sports-related degree who should have been given the chance for their first job out of College as an “Assistant”.

So, he is past retirement age. He had been the actual Athletic Director for seventeen years — until just this past summer. Before that he was the Athletic Director FOR TWENTY-FIVE years at a different school in the Bronx. Before that he was a Teacher, and a Coach at another school for six years. Because of all that, allowing him to “resign” was pointless, and ineffective. He should have been Fired. He already has his retirement benefits, and his pension. so his ‘resigning’ was not much of a loss for him. He is already past his retirement age, so he doesn’t need to ‘find a new job’.

Finally this guy ALSO has a second job as a Manager at the ‘Beach Club’ division of the Westchester Country Club, in Rye, New York. (I hope that Manager position is part-time — otherwise I would wonder how he could be BOTH a full-time Athletic Director at the school,AND a full-time Manager at a Country Club without being crooked or corrupt).

Does Westchester Country Club, in Rye, New York know they have an insensitive racist (opinion) working for them?

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