A public school teacher in the New Orleans suburb of Slidell is being disciplined for racially incendiary comments made in response to Nike’s decision to release a major ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick.
Slidell High School math teacher Valerie Scogin apparently took issue with the Nike campaign that celebrates 30 years of its “Just Do It” slogan, The New Orleans Advocate reports. In a vitriolic posting referring to people of color as “animals,” Scogin suggests they can move “back” to another country.
“They don’t have to live in that country. They could go back,” The Advocate reports Scogin posted to Facebook. “But it was their own people selling them into slavery to begin with and tearing (sic) them even worse in those countries of origin.”
Sadly, Scogin did not stop there, and she continued her berating post: “Want a better neighborhood? Move. You don’t have to choose to live in those zip codes. Want to not be stereotyped, tell people of that color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating the stereotype.”
Nike released the campaign on Labor Day and independent research company Edison Trends reports its sales have soared 31 percent since the release of the campaign, which includes a commercial starring Kaepernick, but also featuring LeBron James, Serena Williams, and others, as well as a close-up billboard photo of Kaepernick superimposed with the words, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem at football games in 2016 in protest of police misconduct and the treatment of people of color in the United States. No NFL team has picked him up since his departure from the 49ers, and his campaign has been a lightning rod for supporters and opponents.
The St. Tammany Parish school system told The Advocate that the math teacher is being reprimanded but did not elaborate.
“The posting was voluntarily removed,” St. Tammany Parish school system spokeswoman Meredith Mendez told the news organization. “The appropriate disciplinary action has been taken. I can’t comment further due to this being a personnel matter.”
Scogin has taught at the school since 2008. She apologized for her posting via social media, according to The Advocate.
“Recently I posted a comment that may have been hurtful to some of you,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “In my reaction out of frustration at another Facebook post, I made some remarks that were against my better judgment and sensibilities. I now wish I hadn’t.”
She continued, “The last thing I want to do is hurt anyone. I apologize for what I said and sincerely wish to avoid this in the future.”