The negative media attention the “blackface” craze received internationally highlights a growing problem, and a pair of high school football coaches are the latest domestic examples of the tomfoolery. In San Diego, the men applied blackface makeup and dressed as the Jamaican Bobsled team at a weekend football game.
Brian Basteyns, head coach for Serra High School, and Harold Seeley, an assistant coach, wore the getup at a San Diego State University game last Saturday (Oct. 26), with one of the coaches posting the photo on Facebook. On Tuesday, players noticed that something was amiss with the coaches after an encounter.
ABC affiliate 10 News spoke with players who say the coaches did nothing wrong and are supporting them despite an investigation by the San Diego Unified School Board. “I said hello, he smiled and he just kept walking by but you could tell there was something bothering him,” said Xavier Miller.
Miller added, “They always tell us good morals. We always have to represent Serra football when we’re outside of Serra.”
Despite the rallying of the players , a history teacher at the school has vocally decried her colleague and is siding with a growing number of protestors.
“There’s just certain things you don’t do,” said Peggy Yates. “You don’t call people the N-word or any other racial epithet. You don’t put black on your face. I don’t care what team you’re trying to represent.”
The San Diego NAACP have demanded that Basteyns and Seeley be fired from their posts, this after working four years for the school. Parents are demanding the school reprimand the pair, and the school board promises a thorough investigation. According to the players, Basteyns gave an emotional apology to the team on Tuesday.
The Jamaican national bobsleigh team made headlines after it debut during the 1998 Winter Olympics and later depicted in the 1993 family film, Cool Runnings.
Check photos of the outfit and a news report from News10 on the following pages.
[Props to Gawker]
Photos: NBC 7, News 10