Kanye West Fallout Imperils Season for Donda Academy Basketball


Diana Cooper, whose son, J.J. Taylor, is a college prospect at Donda Academy, expressed discomfort with one of Ye’s recent inflammatory assertions: that George Floyd’s death was caused by fentanyl, rather than murder by a police officer. (One former Minneapolis officer was sentenced last year, while a second pleaded guilty to manslaughter this week in exchange for a more serious murder charge being dropped.)

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“George Floyd — I didn’t like that,” Cooper said. “That wasn’t right.”

Cooper, who said she had not paid close attention to anything else Ye had said recently, added that it has not been easy to find out information from the school. She said she has not even received a roster listing who is on the team and their contact information, and as of Wednesday afternoon had not heard from anyone with the team.

“They tell us what they want us to know,” said Cooper, whose youngest child moved to California from his home in Chicago last year to play for the school’s team. “This just started happening within the last couple months with Kanye getting in all this stuff. They’re not really keeping us informed.”

She added: “Everything went well last season. That’s the reason he returned; he felt comfortable with how the program is going. Now, I don’t know what is going on.”

Another parent, Vantik Loury, whose son, Davius Loury, moved from Chicago to California this semester, said “I’m unsure how I feel” about her son being at Donda Academy. “Once I speak with him, I’ll have a clearer mind,” she added in a brief phone interview, saying that she speaks with her son every day.

Braeden Moore, who played at Donda Academy last year and is now a freshman forward at Brigham Young University, said he did not condone Ye’s comments but felt it was unfair to punish the players. “I’m sure they’re upset,” Moore said in a text message. “It’s upsetting to see people cancel these kids when they had nothing to do with it. Pretty extreme if you ask me.”

Dorell Wright, a former N.B.A. player who took over as the team’s coach after last season, did not return a text message Wednesday.


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