TRUEDIVA TALK

Game Postponed Amidst Coach Investigation

In February 2011 on February 15, 2011 at 1:33 am

By Kevin FreemanFox 8 News Reporter February 8, 2011

Team May Boycott HS Basketball Coach For Racist Comments

white basketball coach jason popp

Among the things he said were

“I”m going to need you to play like n—-ers, which you are”

According to Fox 8 in Richmond, several players are willing to boycott Popp:

Most players say they are willing to give up their undefeated season if the coach remains. Although some want to keep playing.

“I think as a team, we should still get our butts on the court because no matter what somebody says to you, we love basketball, all of us loves basketball and I think no matter what he says, we need to go for our goal and go 20-and-0,” said varsity player London Fulton, Jr.

RICHMOND HEIGHTS —

Racial tensions between a coach and his players have an undefeated high school basketball team threatening to boycott the rest of the season.

The Richmond Heights basketball team is 15-and-0, but the team planned to sit out Tuesday night’s game, unless their coach was fired.

Monday, parents sent the school superintendent a letter, claiming he uses racist and degrading comments.

“Everybody in this room are responsible for these children, it’s time to stop,” said parent Nneka Slade Jackson, during a heated school board meeting Monday night.

“They been dealing with this for months (years), this ain’t something that just started yesterday,” said parent Alvin Fulton.

The parents are demanding the superintendent, Dr. Linda Hardwick, remove high school varsity basketball coach Jason Popp, alleging he uses inappropriate language, as well as racist comments towards his players.

“He was like, ‘well, you guys don’t go out and play [expletive] basketball.’ He was like, ’cause this is what they gonna expect ya’ll to do, play (expletive) basketball’,” said varsity player Jordan Early.

Spartans players skipped practice on Monday.

“He said if I don’t get my grades up, I’m gonna be living back down on Superior. I thought it was a racist comment because if I was white, he wouldn’t have said nothing like that,” added Early.

Dr. Hardwick says she spent Tuesday talking to Popp about the allegations.

“He’s saying that none of this is true, but I’m working through every one of the issues,” she said.

Hardwick says she has not had time to hear both sides, saying she will not act until she does more investigating.

“Mr. Popp’s reputation is at stake and the students — I’m an advocate for children — they must be treated fairly, if any of these allegations are true,” she said.

Most players say they are willing to give up their undefeated season if the coach remains. Although some want to keep playing.

“I think as a team, we should still get our butts on the court because no matter what somebody says to you, we love basketball, all of us loves basketball and I think no matter what he says, we need to go for our goal and go 20-and-0,” said varsity player London Fulton, Jr.

Hardwick says Tuesday night’s home game against Independence is postponed until Friday, to give her time to deal with the situation.

She says he wants to get the parents and Jason Popp in a face-to-face meeting on Wednesday to discuss the allegations.

Popp did not comment to Fox 8 News.

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