Football Team Name Concerns Parents - New York News

Football Team Name Concerns Parents

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NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -

Jared Heckman watches his two sons play league football as members of the Northampton Konkrete Kids. And he does so with a sense of pride.

"I'm a Konkrete kid. My kids are Konkrete Kids. My father and my family before them were all Konkrete Kids," he says.

But it's the spelling of the team name that's generating controversy. The alliteration of concrete has two K's, add the word "kids" and you have K.K.K.

But Heckman rejects the suggestion by some residents that it's a nod to the Ku Klux Klan, a dark part of the area's past.

"It actually is teaching our children to live in the past and to be negative and to not get over this hurdle that we've been through. I didn't do it. You didn't do it. He didn't do it. None of us did this," he argues.

Terrance Jackson disagrees.

"I don't think that it was a mistake or that it's coincidental," he says. "Yes, I think it was placed there purposely."

He's a father of two kids that went through the district. He started an online petition at change dot org to take his objection to the world. There are now nearly 3,000 signatures demanding action.

"I think that middle K at least should be changed to a C if you want to keep the wrong spelling of Concrete," Jackson remarks. "As long as those three Ks are there, it's a hurtful element to those who have a history of dealing with the KKK."

"Could you see it being changed?" asks FOX 29's Dave Kinchen.

"Quite frankly, no. I don't see it being changed," says Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik.

Joseph Kovalchik defends the name and its particular origin.

"The Konkrete Kids, the way it's spelled, the way we spell it, is derived from the German heritage. That's where it really kind of came from. And it has nothing to do with anything about things we don't believe in," he says.

And there are plenty of supporters that want to keep, as is, the name and its current spelling.

"There's nothing hidden here. It's not like we're the Washington Redskins doing this Tomahawk Chop thing. That, to me, is heinous," says another parent.

"To be asking somebody to change this long-lived tradition, to me, takes a lot of gull," says Heckman.

Terrance Jackson says he isn't planning on a long, laborious fight and says that even if the district refuses a change, he'll live with that.

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