“15 seconds of fame in the wrong way. I’ve ruined the last 12 years of my career,” John Hoskins told ABC11 exclusively.
He said it happened one fun night at the bar. The 32-year-old coach at Knightdale High School was celebrating the team’s win against Corinth Holders High, when he shouted: “White power, Knightdale. I still love you, N—–“
“Just to set the record, I’m not racist,” Hoskins told ABC11 on Tuesday. “I don’t mean it in a negative way.”
Hoskins said he was caught up in a celebratory moment with friends both black and white.
He said through the years, his friends who are black have said it was OK for him to use the n-word.
“I guess I’ve been around them for so long. We’re friends. I mean nothing from it,” he said. “The word can be used in multiple ways. They treat me as any of their own friends.”
Hoskins deleted the video but not before someone reported it and shared it with school administrators.
This is the resignation letter from the assistant 🏈 coach at Knightdale High who was seen on video using the N-word and shouting “White Power, Knightdale.” He explained to me this was locker room talk condoned by his black players, he used while celebrating Friday with friends. pic.twitter.com/MjDURjU3nQ
— Tim Pulliam (@TimABC11) November 5, 2019
Out of fear of being a distraction to the team, Hoskins said the next day, he wrote a one-sentence letter to Knightdale’s principal and to the head coach, apologizing and resigning.
Hoskins said the players on the majority-black team also accepted the words.
“They joke around. We joke around. They walk up to me and say it. ‘Hey coach, just say it. You’re a good coach. Just say it.’ Once in a while, it slips,” he said. “Once a year, it slips. To have them smile and laugh. Besides that, I mean nothing from it.”
On Tuesday, the school district superintendent Cathy Moore said she was disappointed and angry by the remarks.
“The language, the context is not OK. And unfortunately, social media will show you a piece of something but not all of something. And this man is an adult. And he should know better,” she said.
Wake County Schools said Hoskins’ remarks violated the district’s code of conduct policy.
Parents in Knightdale will be notified about Hoskins’ resignation.
The school district says it is going to continue to follow and tweak its plan of equality and inclusion, which will involve a collaboration among teachers, parents, students and staff.
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