I grew up right near Mattawan, Michigan and my best friend and his family still live there. That town is now the center of some controversy now that the high school football coach is the target of a civil rights complaint filed by the family of the starting quarterback on the team. The coach apparently has a real problem with saying things he absolutely should not say. Here are some of the things he has apparently admitted to saying (he denies some other things that are even worse).
According to the documents obtained by the Gazette, Stephens has acknowledged making some of the remarks referenced in Mullett’s complaint, including:
• Telling a player he is the “wrong color” to play a certain position.
• Asking an African-American athlete whether he “went to jail” during a visit to Detroit, and joking about whether the student was a “thug” or a “gangbanger.”
• Using profanity while addressing players.
• Telling his economics class that IKEA is “like porn for girls.”
• Joking in front of a Mattawan social studies class about a “faggoty purple shirt.”
• Telling a group of players they need to spend more time in the weight room because they look like “Holocaust victims,” a remark some took as insensitive to Jews.
The district’s investigation also found that, while speaking at a state conference for football coaches where he was honored as a regional coach of the year, Stephens told the audience one of his players had a “smokin’ hot” mother.Stephens denied other allegations in the complaint, including an accusation he told players that “darker” teams such as Kalamazoo Central and Loy Norrix high schools, where a majority of the players are African-American, are less intelligent and easier to fool.
He also denied using the term “whores” to describe cheerleaders, making references to his sex life, or intimidating or bullying students.
The coach, who also teaches social studies at the school, has been given one verbal reprimand and one written one. That’s it. But the superintendent says he thinks the school has “handled this situation in an appropriate and diligent manner.” And I have to mention this one exchange in the comments, which cracked me up. The first comment, which seems quite reasonable:
The coach has a clear problem with his filter, but ultimately the administration is responsible for the employees in the school district, especially when things have been brought to their attention repeatedly. The majority of football coaches are rarely known for their sensitive side and soft spoken nature. They, like any other employee, need to be managed appropriately.
And the response:
Managed appropriately!? Seriously?? KKK, ABORTION, HOLOCAUST!!