A high school basketball coach was fired last month for not making his team “whiter,” and now the NAACP is asking that the New Jersey Attorney General investigate the matter.
After 14 years as head basketball coach at Collingswood High School, Joe McLoughlin, was relieved of his post, despite helping push the team to a state championship. In response to his pink slip, several current and former students and their parents all attended a school board meeting on June 25, and unsuccessfully fought to save his job.
The board voted unanimously to fire McLoughlin, and although they gave no official reason behind letting him go, supporters are accusing the school of racial bias. As a result, the NAACP penned a letter to the State Attorney General requesting further inquiry. “Please accept this letter as a formal request for an independent investigation into the rampant but covert discrimination and civil rights violations occurring against African-American students attending and/or participating in the sports program at Collingswood High School in Collingswood, New Jersey, including the participants in the boys and girls’ basketball program,” read the letter.
Parents Malcolm and Leslie Clark, told NBC 10 that their children—Myesha and Malik—were treated unfairly when they transferred to the school. Although both made the team Myesha, who is 5-foot-11, and Malik, who is 6-foot-3, were not allowed to play often likely because of pressure from the school district. “I’m very happy that someone is finally getting involved,” said Malcolm. “The reality is that it’s 2012 and things like this should not be going on.”
Attorney Joseph Betley, who represents the school, denied that any racial discrimination played a part in his firing.
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