March 2, 2018 — Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas did the right thing and fired their baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat. The coach denied a student athlete the right to attend the school based solely on his status as a Colorado resident. Why, you might ask, would a coach make such a strange decision? Because he discriminated against the young man solely because Colorado has legalized adult-use cannabis. In other words, Jeffcoat is a bigot and
“He was separated from the university due to the discriminatory remarks made in an email to a potential recruit from the state of Colorado and for another factor that we have been investigating for the last week.” Explained Texas Wesleyan University President Fred Slabach on Thursday. “This university and its athletic program does not discriminate on the basis of the public policy of any state,”
The university has not revealed what the other “factor” was that they are currently investigating other than to say it was related to a violation of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics rules.
But, the factor of discrimination from the incident with the young baseball athlete was clear. The coach even took a jab at “liberal” politicians that he blames for the cannabis laws in Colorado, which gives insight into his conservative political side. Jeffcoat’s email said:
Thanks for the interest in our program. Unfortunately, we are not recruiting players from the state of Colorado. In the past, players have had trouble passing our drug test. We have made a decision to not take a chance on Student-athletes from your state. You can thank your liberal politicians. Best of Luck wherever you decide to play.
Head Baseball Coach
Texas Wesleyan University”
The backlash was fast and furious on social media in particular, but also from sports journalists, many of them calling for his suspension or removal. On the popular morning debate show First Take on ESPN, host Steven A. Smith made his opinion very clear (see video below) just a day after calling for his suspension and a review of the incident on March 1, 2018:
“I have no problem with him being fired, not even a little bit. He engaged in a flagrant act of discrimination … It’s grounds for dismissal at various jobs in the nation.
“You, as a college coach, would discriminate against a kid–no information on his background, nothing that said ha had ever been in trouble according to his high school coach, nothing incriminating what-so-ever. It was simply because he was from the state of Colorado.
“This same person, who has now had his opportunity snatched from him, is the same same individual that was willing to deny an opportunity to a young kid.
“If you are willing to do that, and take that kind of position, you have no business being in a position where you’re a leader of young men and determining the path of their future.”
Smith hit proverbial nail on the head with his comments. As restrained as his first reaction was, Smith cut to the chase with his most recent comments. What behavior like Jeffcoat shows is that he is a bigot. And, he is more than likely a bigot relating to many other subjects. His cannabis bigotry does not live in a vacuum. It would be no surprise to me to learn the Jeffcoat was also a racist and a misogynist. I do not know, for a fact, that he is a racist and a misogynist, but the his actions are aligned with that kind of thinking. The University did the right thing to fire him and to do it quickly.
Gavin Bell, who was originally from Texas, moved to Colorado when he was 12 years old. Bell wanted to play for Texas Weleyan, which has a very good baseball team and was picked sixth in a preseason poll in their division of collegiate athletics. Bell told KMGH that he is “just a high school student looking to play baseball somewhere.”
Although his openly liberal partner on First Take, Max Kellerman, took a more lenient view of what would be appropriate punishment, saying that Jeffcoat should be given a second chance and forced to attend sensitivity training, Smith was more decisive and realistic in his position. Smith explained:
“This man was willing to blanketly discriminate against a high school kid with no compassion, so why have compassion for him.”
Exactly, Steven A., exactly.
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