INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Cathedral High School basketball player who suffers with epileptic seizures was seemingly mocked at a game against Center Grove on Friday.
In a video that is gaining traction online, a Center Grove student from the opposing school is seen flopping on the ground as if he’s having a seizure while Cathedral’s James Franklin Jr. was at the free-throw line.
The Cathedral senior posted the video in a tweet after the game, saying “He thought it was coo to act as me having a seizure smh.” In another tweet, James said he heard the crowd yell “have another seizure for us!”
James’ mother Tamieka told our partner at the Indy Star that the Center Grove student did apologize to her son after the game, which Cathedral ended up losing 63-60.
CBS4 spoke with James last year about his battle with epilepsy when he and his teammates played a “Sink Seizures” game to help reduce the stigma surrounding seizure disorders.
Johnna Roessner, one of the organizers for the game, said there are 3.5 million people that have epilepsy in the U.S., with 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year. More than a third of the cases are like James and can’t be treated with medicine alone.
A few months before the game, doctors removed a part of the teen’s brain to try and stop the seizures. He ran back out onto the court less than a month later.
In a statement, Center Grove said it doesn’t condone behavior intended to mock, disparage or humiliate any player or student:
Members of the administrative team and athletic department at CGHS are aware of the concerns raised about student behavior at the Cathedral basketball game Friday night. We are working collaboratively with the administrative staff and athletic department at Cathedral to address these issues. Our goal is to always create an environment where sportsmanship and quality competition can thrive. We do not condone any behavior intended to mock, disparage or humiliate any player or student.
CBS4 has reached out to Cathedral High School for comment.