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College Basketball

Greg McDermott Said What?

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott has joined the fraternity of coaches who have blurted out racist stuff in front of their teams. Following the example set by John “I meant to say slugs, not thugs” Beilein, McDermott got himself into trouble by making a tremendously ill-advised analogy while addressing his team after a loss to Xavier last week.

News of the incident was broken by McDermott himself, who explained what happened in an apology he tweeted out yesterday:

To the people who are always eager to perform the ritual of insisting that no prejudice can be read into an unfortunate but benign slip of the tongue: Good luck with this one! Maybe you’ll be able to find a few sports talk radio junkies who will buy the argument that it’s totally harmless to analogize being on a college basketball team to being on a plantation, but that’s about it.

The fact that McDermott felt the need to get out in front of this mess with an apology before anyone had even heard about it would seem to indicate that he did real damage to his relationship with the team. Assistant coach Terrence Rencher released a statement of his own, in which he said that he was “deeply hurt” by McDermott’s comments, and implied that the team is only going forward with McDermott as their coach because they decided to do so together:

McDermott has been the head coach at Creighton since 2010. It wouldn’t be a shock if his tenure ends at the conclusion of this season.