Fired for the most horrible of crimes.

At a university in Virginia, a volleyball coach is being fired for the crime of being gay.

Just three days before Thanksgiving, one of the most loved and most successful coaches at Virginia Commonwealth University was fired — my friend Coach James Finley. After delivering a 25-6 winning season and graduating every one of his seniors, Coach Finley was unceremoniously shown the door — for no reason other than being unashamedly who he is…a gay man.

When letting the team know about the news, the Athletic Director who fired Coach Finley said that he wanted to find someone who “better represented VCU.” I have trouble believing that VCU could find a better representative than Coach Finley — a kind and generous man, and an excellent volleyball coach who turned a shambles of a team into the most successful volleyball program in 20 years at VCU.

There is a petition to VCU’s president requesting him to re-think the decision.  I signed it, not knowing where James Finley’s heart lies in the matter.  Perhaps Finley has a home there in Richmond which, after 20+ years, he does not wish to leave.  Perhaps he feels an obligation to be there having promised a recruiting class that he would be.

However, if neither of those are the case, with his talent he could easily find a job at another school where he won’t have to always be worrying if the ancient ideas twisting his athletic directors brain will affect hm down the road.  It sounds to me like he’s too good for the school

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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