Kansas coach fired for using N-word toward Black player
Tony Banks says he believed Pete Flood was attempting to "derail" his son's successful academic and athletic career.
The head baseball coach at Olathe North High School in Olathe, Kansas has been fired after using the n-word toward a Black player.
Pete Flood was fired from his teaching position and all other employment in Olathe Public Schools USD 233 after being previously suspended. District officials on Friday recommended to its board of education that Flood be terminated, and on Monday, the board voted unanimously to do so.
Tony Banks, the father of the only Black player on the Eagles baseball team, said his son was playing rap music through speakers during batting practice Thursday when the coach allegedly walked up to him, saying, “We don’t play that N—– music over here. We only play country and rock music.”
Flood claims that he was not referring to the student’s race but the “offensive and derogatory” lyrics in the song.
“Never, never, never have I ever used the ‘N-word’ or any other racial slur to address a student, player, or person in my entire twenty-five-year career in this district nor my personal life,” Flood said in an email to The Kansas City Star.
In his email, the now-former coach said he told the student to turn the music off. Flood claims he said: “Turn that off, we are not going to play music that says ‘[expletives] and N—–’. Change the song, change the artist, change the genre. … I don’t care, just turn that sh*t off.’ At this point, he turned it off and I continued on to observe the sub-varsity practice.”
“In my opinion, these types of lyrics should never be played in a public venue at a school event,” Flood wrote. “I deeply regret that I repeated the N-word aloud; however, I do not regret requesting that a song with such offensive and derogatory language be turned off.”
However, the boy’s father disputed Flood’s account, stating that administrators “did their own research, and they came to a conclusion.”
Banks told the newspaper he believed that Flood was attempting to “derail” his son’s successful academic and athletic career.
“We really wanted to move beyond this. We’re not attention-seekers,” Banks said. “But we’re not going to sit back and let him falsely destroy our son. I don’t have to sweat because the people who know (my son) know that’s not his character. That’s not how he operates.”
Olathe School Board President Joe Beveridge called Flood’s actions “inexcusable.”
“The school district stands firmly against racism, discrimination and racial profiling of any kind,” said Beveridge. “It is in direct conflict with the value of inclusivity.”