Alabama Football Coach Uses Racist, Homophobic Slurs

I am shocked — shocked, I tell you — to find out that a high school football coach in Alabama is a bigot. Bob Grisham, the football coach at Lauderdale County High School, spewed out a bucket full of bigotry and it was all caught on audio tape. Oops.

The audio clip begins with Grisham asking several young men if they knew who was behind the “600-calorie lunches” provided by public schools.

“Fat butt Michelle Obama,” Grisham says. “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.”

“Big fat gorilla,” a male voice agrees.

“I’m serious,” Grisham continues. “Y’all, our country is, is, is going in the wrong direction.”

“It’s going straight to hell,” another person on the tape adds.

“Things won’t get better until there’s a change in some areas and stuff. And you know what [President Barack Obama’s] platform was? Change,” the high school coach points out. “Y’all can get pissed off at me or not. You can go tell the principal, you can call the superintendent and tell her.”

“I don’t believe in queers, I don’t like queers,” he continues. “I don’t hate them as a person but what they do is wrong, it’s an abomination against God. I don’t like being around queers.”

And the inevitable explanation, which no intelligent person could possibly believe:

On Wednesday, Grisham explained to The TimesDaily that that he had simply misspoken on the tape.

“I misspoke in a debate-type situation,” he insisted. “I have no hatred toward anyone or any group. People that know my heart, they know that.”

No, asshole, you didn’t “misspeak.” You spoke and you said exactly what you wanted to say, exactly what you believe. You even did so defiantly, telling them they can go tell your bosses what you said. Well, someone did. And I suspect that, even in Alabama, it’s probably going to get you fired. By the way, he’s not just a football coach he’s also a teacher. You know what he teaches? Psychology.


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  • People that know my heart

    In your heart, you wanted to be unemployed. That’s what we all heard. So here’s to hoping you’ve got a nice looooooong unpaid vacation ahead of you.

  • frankniddy

    He thinks Michelle Obama looks like she’s 190 pounds. I’m convinced that he’s blind, too, and on several levels.

  • F [nucular nyandrothol]

    I also wonder if he realizes that school lunches may be the only calories some kids get.

    But yeah, there is clearly intent behind the slurs, he said so. He didn’t accidentally say that the new uniforms look gay, he said he “hates queers”. I don’t know how one can misspeak such a thing. “Fat butt Michele Obama” – just a slip o’ the tongue. Right. Debate made him do it!

    P.S., one of the things that worried me when taking psych in college was the other people taking psych. This dude would fit into one of the worrisome groups.

  • shouldbeworking

    He isn’t colourblind.

  • cry4turtles

    He might as well get a tattoo on his neck.

  • cjcolucci

    For a moment, I thought this would be a piece about Nick Saban. Well, he did leave Michigan State, didn’t he?

  • divalent

    So, what was the racist thing the football coach said? I don’t see it. (Is “fat butt” racist code of some sort?)

  • oranje

    “What? I didn’t say anything offensive. It’s not like I called the queers ‘fags’ or anything. Besides, they know I’m just joking.”

  • Whether he gets fired or not will depend on how well his team did this year. I would be willing to bet that if they have a winning team, he won’t get fired.

  • I guess divalent never heard of Hottentot Venus.

    And some people probably look back fondly on the good old days wherein the likes of Coach Grisham could rail against “dem queers” without anyone making a big fuss out of it.

  • escuerd

    F @ 3:

    I also wonder if he realizes that school lunches may be the only calories some kids get.

    For the record, I think he’s complaining about the calories being too low, not too high, so the sad scenario you describe would support his position more.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think that malnutrition is a bigger problem than under-nutrition in the U.S. I.e. obtaining calories is not usually the hard part (why obesity is a bigger problem among the poor in the U.S. than among the wealthy), but getting high quality nutrients along with them is.

    He also didn’t quite say that he “hates queers”, but specifically claimed he doesn’t.

    Of course, that sounds like complete bullshit on his part. I rather loathe the whole “I don’t hate anyone/anything,” trope that I’ve seen in some circles. It’s as if some people think that the word itself has some magical power. If they grow up admonished not to hate people they can convince themselves that they’re following this advice simply by re-labeling it.

    Oh, he doesn’t hate “queers”, he just doesn’t like us. Hate couldn’t possibly be the emotion he’s feeling because he’s a good person who doesn’t do such things. It must be some other emotion that deserves a milder label to reflect what a morally good, non-hateful person he is.

  • pyschopenguin


    “Fat butt Michelle Obama,” Grisham says. “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.” “Big fat gorilla,” a male voice agrees. “

    I think calling Michelle Obama a Big Fat gorilla qualifies as racist, don’t you?

  • cjcolucci

    At Michele Obama’s height, and in her muscular condition, I wouldn’t be surprised if she weighed about 180-185. So if that’s what 185 looks like, I’m OK with it.

  • divalent

    @pyschopenguin “I think calling Michelle Obama a Big Fat gorilla qualifies as racist, don’t you?”

    Yes, but it was “a male voice” that said that, not the coach.

  • Christoph Burschka

    Like Todd Akin, what he meant to say was “I am dumb as dog shit and I am a terrible human being.” He just mispronounced a few words and ended up with this.

  • He may get fired. Then he can go on the wingnut radio circuit and talk about how he was victimized by those homosexual bullies.

  • pyschopenguin


    correct, but you are going to argue about it? I mean, when someone next to me says about a african american women (or man) that she is a “Big Fat Gorilla” I immeidate interject myself and correct the racist comment. That way, no one around me assumes that I am a racist git and agree with the racist comment.

    In strict terms, you are correct, the coach did not state the comment. However, he did not correct the comment and said, “Let’s be serious” instead of “Let’s not be racist”. Being from Alabama, which has not been the bastion of civil rights, I am not inclined to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt.

  • Moggie

    People that know my heart, they know that.

    Then bless your heart. Unfortunately for you, teaching also involves the head, which is meant to be more than a butt-plug.

  • abb3w

    Michelle Obama is 5’11”; a weight of 185 would give her a BMI barely into the nominally “Overweight” zone, let alone the “Obese”.

    (Furthermore, the BMI measure is pretty sketchy at the tall end of the scale; 6’3″ and 150 pounds is NOT “normal”, I don’t care what the medical bozos say.)

  • tubi


    Whether he gets fired or not will depend on how well his team did this year. I would be willing to bet that if they have a winning team, he won’t get fired.

    Lauderdale was 12-2 last season, 6-1 in conference, but came in second to Madison Academy. Grisham came in as head coach in 2009 following a 2-8 season and led the team to conference championships in 2010 and 2011. His overall record is 25-10-0. He’ll keep his job.

    Also, it seems he’s following his father as head coach at Lauderdale. At least that’s what I infer. There was a Robert Grisham who coached there from 1966-1990, compiling a 186-95-3 overall record. I wonder if Dad’s a racist, homophobic, misogynist* bigot as well?

    *I threw this in. I mean, I assume they both are.

  • frog

    Not that it’s appropriate to be discussing the FLOTUS’s weight, but if they think she’s fat, they have severely skewed perception. Surprise, boys! Not all women are tiny little things. Some are tall and strong. If you can see muscles, it’s muscle, not fat. Shelly O’s arms are awesome and wonderful.

  • divalent

    @pyschopenguin “correct, but you are going to argue about it?”

    Yes. The title of the thread declares that the coach used racist slurs. Failing to verbally object when someone else makes a racist slur in your presence is not “using a racist slur”.

  • scienceavenger

    I suspect Ed glanced at the conversation, saw “gorilla”, and assumed the coach said it. Whoop tee do, it’s not like the guy was a complete innocent bystander getting tarred with the bigot brush. He was certainly homophobic, and my money says his version of [President Barack Obama’s] was racist as well (probably NIC).

    Sadly, the most honest thing he probably said was at the end when he said he doesn’t hate anyone. He’s completely out of touch with reality, but I’ll bet he does believe it with all his heart.

  • slc1
  • oranje

    @abb3w: BMI was never meant to be an individual measure of weight health. Its creator even said it was designed to measure society-wide trends, not individual health, because outliers are too common and need to be filtered through based on the proportions of the majority.

    In short, any doctor who talks about whether or not your BMI is healthy might not be aware of this.

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