IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR: Some White coaches continue to degrade their Black players

“One child grows up to be, somebody that just loves to learn. And another child grows up to be somebody you’d just love to burn. Mom loves the both of them, you see, it’s in the blood. Both kids are good to mom. Blood’s thicker than the mud.

It’s a family affair, it’s a family affair…”

– Sly and the Family Stone

Recently, Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Mark Adams stepped down after quoting a Bible verse directing that: “Slaves obey and serve their masters.” Coach Adams had this to say about his resignation. “My lifelong goal was to help and be a positive influence on my players, and to be a part of the Texas Tech men’s basketball team. However, both the university and I believe this incident has become a distraction for the Texas Tech men’s basketball team and the university, which I care about so deeply.”

If Coach Adams considers his racially-charged remarks merely as a “distraction,” then why did he resign? If he was prompted or forced to step down, then why aren’t the careers of other White coaches who displayed similar behavior, not on the chopping block?  Many more of these “distractions” occur throughout college athletics daily, most of the time with barely a whimper from the NCAA, the schools, or the fan base. Why are racial epithets usually viewed as “statements of innocence?”

Coach Mark Adams said: “My lifelong goal was to help and be a positive influence on my players.”

Huh, lifelong? Has he been a lifelong bigot or was this a “character anomaly,” something he picked up along the way? News flash—Texas Tech has agreed to pay former basketball coach Mark Adams $3.9 million as a severance agreement. Almost four million buckaroos for being a redneck! How ya like them apples?

Leah Asmelash posted this article on on October 23, 2020, titled: “A remark about a noose around a player’s neck led to Penn State basketball coach’s resignation.” She begins her article by saying, “A year ago, the head coach of the Penn State men’s basketball team, (Pat Chambers), made a comment about a noose around a player’s neck. Now, after an investigation and new allegations of inappropriate conduct, the head coach has resigned. Chambers had been suspended for the January 6, 2019, game after shoving a freshman player during a timeout several days earlier.”

Chambers issued a statement that said, in part, “This has been an incredibly difficult year for me and my family, and we are in need of a break to reset and chart our path forward.” 

How about Pat Chambers not being so worried about the possible difficulty and hardships for his family with possibly a few million pounds in the bank? Shouldn’t Mr. Chambers have shown a bit more concern about how the noose that he “placed” around the necks of his players could be removed as they searched for a break as they reset and charted their path forward? Pat Chambers was only worried about his family because blood’s thicker than mud. It’s a family affair.

Hold on tight everyone, just when you thought it couldn’t get any uglier, you had better turn on the floodlights and put on your sunglasses. Steve Herman posted an article titled: “Raptors Coach Accuses Knight of Slur” on April 14, 2000. Herman writes: “Toronto Raptors coach Butch Carter depicts former Indiana Hoosiers Men’s basketball coach Bob Knight as a ‘self-serving coward’ who maintains control through threats and once used a racial slur at a Black player. Knight coached Carter more than 20 years ago at Indiana. Butch Carter was a team co-captain at Indiana in 1980. Carter said that ‘Knight stormed into the locker room after a practice and berated another player.’ He said he would end up like ‘all the rest of the ni__ers in Chicago, including your brothers.’”

Folks, it goes on and on. There seems to be no end to the systemic privileges offered to these pseudo-educators and fake caretakers of our children. On March 10, 2023, Catherine Ross posted a piece on the News 5 Cleveland website. The name of the piece is: “Notre Dame College to replace women’s basketball coaches after accusations of bullying, racist rants.”

Ms. Ross reports that: “New coaches will soon be taking the helm of the women’s basketball team at Notre Dame College. The new leadership comes after parents and players accused both the head and assistant coaches of bullying and racist rants. Several parents reported their concerns to News 5. Jennifer Martcheva said her daughter told her about the environment this past fall during her senior preseason.”

This repeated behavior by these “closet nationalists” is not isolated. Their “ethnically insensitive” outbursts have now become the norm. Their race-based behavior is and has been the rule and certainly not the exception. Our youth are being treated as if they are being bred and selected just to play sports. The behavior by university and college administrations and coaching staffs has culturalized and normalized covert and overt acts of racism directed at young athletes of color. People describing them as slaves has become acceptable. Our children celebrate daily because they are given the opportunity to sign letters of intent to perform for White institutions that maintain and increase the generational wealth of their communities while decreasing and diluting the generational and educational values of people of color.

Our children must be recruited not just to perform but to also achieve.  It takes a village. We must always remember, blood’s thicker than mud, it’s a family affair. 


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