The Minnesota HS basketball team refuses to play due to the reinstatement of the opposing team’s coach who made racial slurs
A high school boys’ basketball game in Minnesota will not end as scheduled on Friday after Eden Prairie head coach David Flom was reinstated from his suspension for using racial slurs while speaking to his team.
The North St. Paul’s players unanimously decided not to play against Flom’s team on Friday.
Head coach Cornelius Gilleylen said it was the players who led the meeting that led to the consensus. “They just came to a united decision, a united front,” Gilleylen said on The Morning News With Vineeta Sawkar.
“The problem came out with the players feeling like they were in an awkward situation and an awkward environment and just getting together to talk about everything that happened over the course of the week.”
Flom was suspended in December after a complaint was filed against him. While the school did not confirm the nature of the complaint, a letter of support circulated. It said that the coach read a racial slur during a classroom team session with players and coaches that was intended to discuss responsible use of social media.
Eden Prairie announced via email that the coach had recovered Twitter on Monday. The district also released a statement concluding its investigation. It read in part:
“While the state law governing employee information does not allow us to disclose further information at this time, we appreciate everyone understanding the importance of conducting a thorough investigation. We have listened to multiple perspectives and hope something comes out of this difficult time.”
His return was reportedly met with a standing ovation on Tuesday when he was introduced for his first game back, a 112-71 loss to sixth-ranked Wayzata.
“I know the damage I’ve done and luckily I started that process when I stood in front of the players and honestly expressed how sorry I was for my mistake,” Flom told local reporters after the loss. “I’d love to be a part of future discussions, from a teaching standpoint and for my own learning. I’ve changed in terms of being graceful and judgmental.”
Gilleylen said he and his athletes have faced racial slurs in the past. “It’s just a life experience now that we’re dealing with, adapting and adapting”
Details are still being determined on how the missed game will affect the team’s record. “It is still a bit premature, all those details have yet to come,” Gilleylen said.
Instead of the game against Eden Prairie, North St. Paul has practice on Friday. On Saturday, the team will watch the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Sacramento Kings as a team bonding event.
After that, the team will focus all their attention on preparing for a conference game on Tuesday.