Parents angered after they say children were targeted by protesters’ ‘vulgar’ insults

Some of the parents said they wouldn't be making their way back to Louisville.
Updated: Mar. 8, 2021 at 1:49 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A group of parents are vowing not to come back to Louisville after they say a group of protesters harassed and screamed vulgarities at their children entering a cheerleading competition downtown.

An LMPD video showed a group of protesters in front of the Kentucky International Convention Center Saturday afternoon. A woman with a megaphone can be heard telling the cheerleaders entering “The reason why you get to be here in these pretty little gorgeous outfits and your gorgeous hair and your gorgeous bows is because of your white privilege,” she said.

In a letter posted by Councilman Anthony Piagentini, one parent stated what some of the protesters were yelling was simply offensive. The letter states they were cursing at the children and yelling at them with vulgar insults. The parent, who was there with her family, wrote that some of the things being said were soo offensive, she couldn’t continue writing them.

“All the girls were crying by the time we were inside,” she said.

Other parents reached out to WAVE 3 News with similar accounts.

Piagentini said he spoke to yet another father at the competition who said the protesters were at one point physically blocking the entrance to the building, and they had to protect their children while trying to go in.

“If you have to resort to cursing, profanity and lewd behavior in front of young children, who are completely innocent and unrelated to the issue,” Piagentini said, “then your point, no matter how just or right, is lost.”

LMPD did show up and recorded part of the event from that point on.

Parents told WAVE 3 News they are petitioning the organizers of the competitions to not return to Louisville.

Piagentini added the last thing the city needs is to lose the millions of dollars conventions bring in because of a lack of safety.

“This is going to have a long term effect on people’s willingness to come downtown,” Piagentini said. “You push that business away by projecting a lack of safety, particularly with children.”

A spokesperson with the convention center also said they were concerned with what happened Saturday.

“We are disheartened that yesterday’s events impacted the experience of the local and regional community attending JamFest,” they stated. ’'Our team worked with representatives from the city to resolve the matter as quickly as possible and are pursuing future discussions to create a peaceful and safe environment for everyone as Louisville welcomes more events in the coming months.”

LMPD made three arrests related to other illegal activity, like blocking roadways, during the protest, they said.

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