A White baseball coach at the Olathe North High School in Kansas has come under fire after he allegedly used a racially derogatory slur during a conversation with the only Black athlete on the team while they were preparing for a match.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the Black student-athlete’s father, Tony Banks, called on school authorities to dismiss coach Pete Flood, labeling him as a “racist.” Banks said his son and another athlete were playing rap music with speakers during pre-game batting practice on Thursday night when Flood came up to him and instructed him to turn off the “n***er music” he was playing.
“The head coach, Pete Flood, heard the music and came over,” Banks wrote. “He looked Nyle directly in his eyes and said, ‘We don’t play that Ni**er (the long nasty version) music over here. We only play country and rock music’”.
The school district was informed about the incident and it immediately took action. In a statement on Friday, the district announced Flood has been placed on administrative leave and a “recommendation” for his “immediate termination has been submitted to the Board of Education”, NBC News reported.
“We are appalled by the remarks made by the Olathe North head baseball coach and have thoroughly investigated the situation,” the school district said in the statement. “The comments made are absolutely unacceptable,” it added. “In the Olathe Public Schools, our priority is the well-being of ALL our students. Racist and derogatory statements will never be tolerated. This is not who we are in Olathe. Our focus now is on the support and care of our students.”
In an interview with The Kansas City Star, Banks reiterated the White high school coach should be fired, adding that the alleged incident negatively impacted his son.
“To say something like that directly to a kid in the presence of other kids — this person does not need to be where he can influence or impact anybody, especially children,” he said. “My son was hurt through this.”
Other people also sided with Banks, saying Flood should not be allowed around children. “Absolutely disgusting and I am glad that this sad shell of a man is being held responsible for his discriminatory & ignorant actions,” a Facebook user commented on the post.
“This is not acceptable. I’ve coached both baseball, football, soccer, basketball, for years never did I or our coaching staff ever do anything like this,” another person commented. “He should be terminated and band [sic] from ever coaching again. It is truly distrustful and a stain on the team and more so on the game that we are working on keeping our kids off the streets.”