Black Coach Quits Over Racist Tweets

Coach Kevin Downes Mahopac High SchoolBy Dr. Sinclair Grey III

Dealing with racial tensions is never easy. No matter how far the United States has moved towards racial reconciliation, there are still individuals who hold on to racist ideology.

Coach Kevin Downes, 42 from Mahopac High School has resigned from his position as basketball coach after an outburst of twitter comments were directed at opposing high school (Mount Vernon) students from Mahopac High School students.

The comments were directed to the players of Mount Vernon High School.  What you need to know is that Mount Vernon High School has a student enrollment of 95% minorities, while Mahopac High School has an enrollment of 11% minorities. Also you need to know the basketball coach of Mount Vernon High School is white and Downes, who is black is the coach of Mahopac.

Downes has spent seven seasons as the head coach of Mahopac and his team reached the sectional semifinals in each of the past four years. Mount Vernon High School has defeated his team three of the last four years.

The tweet that caused Downes to access the seriousness of what was happening was that ‘one of the tweets characterized Mount Vernon residents as monkeys.’ In addition to that, ‘others referred to absent Mount Vernon fathers.’ The most damaging thing about this is there were at least 200 favorites and/or retweets on Twitter. No one did anything. No public outrage.

“Superintendent Judith Johnson of Mount Vernon City School District wrote in a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Education Commissioner John King calling for Mahopac’s varsity team to be suspended from play for a year. I think what was most disappointing was not just the comments — they’re hurtful and disappointing — but the lack of outrage from people until the media spotlight shined on the school.”

So far, eight students from Mahopac have been suspended because of their racist tweets. Downes said he doesn’t want to retire from coaching and hopes to find another opportunity.

Source: USA Today

Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, activist, published author of (5) books, life coach, and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for change. Email: drgrey@sinclairgrey.org. Follow on Twitter @drsinclairgrey. Visit his website: www.sinclairgrey.org

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There are 12 comments for this article
  1. Pastori Balele at 3:01 pm

    Coach Kevin Downes should have stayed – not quitting. I know racial slurs hurt because I have been and continue to be a victim myself. Look how President Obama has been called by racists – all kinds of names. You remember in 2010 TPs were calling him really bad. They could not stand it – a Black person was their President. But President Obama was calm and collected and was re-elected. Most of TPs and racist Repubs are now having heart attacks-they can’t stand another 3 years. In my case, I took a Wisconsin state job exam and ranked highest. The hiring supervisor refused to hire me – saying Black cannot supervise Whites in technical positions. I sued in local federal court. The judge, a White female, Judge Barbara Crabb, could not believe a Black male had ranked highest on state exam beating Whites. She dismissed the case because she had been told by her parents that Blacks were intellectually inferior to Whites. As a joke, some White female workers in our office came and asked me: “Are you really Black? Instead of hating me, they hated the White male who had scored 2nd and hired. I appealed to the 7th Circuit. Three White republican appointed judges banned me from filing discrimination complaints in federal court. They could stand it- a Black man could beat Whites in written exam. I have filed certiorari in the US Supreme Court. But this should teach all of us Blacks. This Country is not perfect yet. We have to put up with such slurs; but at the same time fight back – either through the media, in courts, at rallies and in schools – outdo racists in class. They will respect you. I did. So Coach Kevin Downes should have stayed.

  2. Pastori Balele at 7:01 pm

    Coach Kevin Downes should have stayed – not quitting. I know racial slurs hurt because I have been and continue to be a victim myself. Look how President Obama has been called by racists – all kinds of names. You remember in 2010 TPs were calling him really bad. They could not stand it – a Black person was their President. But President Obama was calm and collected and was re-elected. Most of TPs and racist Repubs are now having heart attacks-they can’t stand another 3 years. In my case, I took a Wisconsin state job exam and ranked highest. The hiring supervisor refused to hire me – saying Black cannot supervise Whites in technical positions. I sued in local federal court. The judge, a White female, Judge Barbara Crabb, could not believe a Black male had ranked highest on state exam beating Whites. She dismissed the case because she had been told by her parents that Blacks were intellectually inferior to Whites. As a joke, some White female workers in our office came and asked me: “Are you really Black? Instead of hating me, they hated the White male who had scored 2nd and hired. I appealed to the 7th Circuit. Three White republican appointed judges banned me from filing discrimination complaints in federal court. They could stand it- a Black man could beat Whites in written exam. I have filed certiorari in the US Supreme Court. But this should teach all of us Blacks. This Country is not perfect yet. We have to put up with such slurs; but at the same time fight back – either through the media, in courts, at rallies and in schools – outdo racists in class. They will respect you. I did. So Coach Kevin Downes should have stayed.

  3. Jerome Byrd at 5:23 am

    I agree he should have stayed, it's a lot easier to affect change on the inside rather than just leave. Unless he felt he's done all he could do and just couldn't take it anymore.

  4. Dave Mills at 9:10 am

    Fantastic on the results Pastori, always happy to hear when someone does well. But i do feel for the coach, sometimes it's Not about enduring to get to the final goal, i can empathise, because i think, it wasn't the racist slurs what prompted him to quit, i'm sure he can deal with that, as with me.It's the fact that it's the very people who are smiling with you, sitting down to have lunch with you, having a laugh and a joke with you on a daily basis, Were not leaping to his defence, and countering with comments to support him. I know for a fact, after this my heart would not be in it, and the thought of getting up, showering, eating breakfast, to goto work where people (as mentioned above) are ok with this, IT JUST AIN'T HAPPENIN!! i would follow my heart and leave.

    • Pastori Balele at 3:03 pm

      And one Black man does not see racism is still alive. Dr. Carson is an educated dumb dreamer. He Can’t read about Sterling rage, the Police Commissioner’s rant and Bundy remarks about Blacks. Carson thinks these three morons are side-shows. Carson should know he is budding with wrong people: Repubs and TPs. These are racists hiding under the Conservative veil. After all GOP and TPs won’t nominate him as WH candidate. He is Black and Conservatives hate to be lead by a Black person and especially a Black male. Carson should also start brushing his teeth. He should not be like John McCain who has not brushed his teeth for centuries.

  5. Charles E. Carter at 5:13 pm

    ignorance is world-wide and sometimes difficult to overcome , and not everyone is up to the fight . And maybe this young coach wasn't comfortable with that environment , either way I think he needed to do what made him feel most comfortable.

  6. sarıyer masaj,masaj at 5:17 am

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  7. Gwendolyn Carter at 1:40 am

    Why are you still using the word minority??? This is part of secret racist code wording referring to black people. WE are not the minority. WE are the majority. Our children will stop feeling isolated or boxed into the role the oppressor has chosen for them if you let them know that we are all over the world.

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