Dartmouth High basketball coach's car defaced with racial slur

Lance Sparks, who is African-Nova Scotian, was dropping off supplies at the school Thursday night when a parent pointed out the slur, n----r, on the hood of his car.

'I've had people do racist things to me but not particularly to my own property like that,' says Lance Sparks

Lance Sparks is a basketball coach at Dartmouth High. (CBC)

A car belonging to Dartmouth High's basketball coach was defaced with racist graffiti Thursday.

Lance Sparks, who is African-Nova Scotian, was dropping off supplies at the school Thursday night when a parent pointed out the slur, n----r, on the hood of his car in what appeared to be purple marker or lipstick.

"At first it made me very angry and then it made me hurt," said Sparks. "I've had people do racist things to me but not particularly to my own property like that."

It's unclear when the word was written on the car or where the car was parked when it happened, but Sparks believes it was written when he was parked at a shopping plaza. He said he wanted to remove it as soon as possible.

"I wanted to get that off my car, or at least attempt to get it off my car," Sparks said.

It's unclear when and where Sparks's car was defaced, but he believes the racist graffiti was written when he was parked at a shopping plaza. (Submitted by Lance Sparks)

Police have investigated the incident, but said there is no video footage from where Sparks was parked. Without any leads, the investigation has been closed, police said.

Police told CBC News the file will be reopened if any further information is brought forward. Investigators can be reached at 902-490-5016.

Hate crime?

Sparks said what happened to his car was a hate crime.

"From a black man's perspective, I think it is, because what other reason would they write something like that on a car? No other cars were vandalized," he said.

Sparks posted about the incident on Facebook hours after he got home. Originally it was just to show his friends, but the post spread quickly. He took it down once he started seeing racist comments.

Team support

Sparks said he feels violated by the incident, and that it gave him the same feeling he had when someone broke into his home 12 years ago. He said he'll be more mindful about where he parks.

"Hopefully time will help me get past that," he said.

Sparks said he plans to talk to his basketball team about what happened when they meet on Sunday for practice.

"Some of them have been messaging me and it's funny … I have three white kids and they were the first ones that messaged me and they were like, 'Coach, don't worry about it, you know what kind of person you are, we got your back.'"

with files from Elizabeth Chiu