The game was between the Greenfield-McClain Tigers and Hillsboro Indians, and the Greenfield-McClain cheerleaders held up a banner that said, "Hey Indians, get ready for a Trail of Tears, Part 2."
Both Greenfield and Hillsboro are rural cities east of Cincinnati, and "Trail of Tears" is a phrase that was created to describe the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation in 1838. Local and state militias coerced several other Native American tribes to migrate from their territories in the Southeastern U.S. to an area west of the Mississippi River designated as Native Territory in the 1800s. This was a plan from various government authorities who supported the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The removal of the tribes, including the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw, caused over 4000 indigenous people to die from their exposure, disease, and starvation while traveling en route before they finally reached their various destinations. The removal included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations.
So, yeah, this probably wasn't the smartest thing that this cheerleading squad poked fun at one of the biggest genocides in U.S. history that the U.S. government allowed.
The Greenfield-McClain cheerleading team issued an apology on their Facebook page for offending anyone who saw the "Trail of Tears" held up at the game.
"Tonight an event occurred that does not reflect the values or beliefs that we try to instill in the students of McClain High School. An immediate apology was issued to both the principal and athletic director of Hillsboro High School. We would also like to apologize to the citizens of Greenfield for the poor reflection on our community. This matter will be addressed internally.”
The school mysteriously deleted their apology following the backlash.
So is the real message from Greenfield-McCalin, "Sorry that we're really not sorry?"