WARNING: the article contains video of racist language-NSFW
A high school football coaching assistant from North Carolina said for the record that he is not a racist.
But his actions—that cost the 32-year-old his job—indicate otherwise.
John Hoskins, who was an assistant coach at Knightdale High School in Wake County, North Carolina, posted a video on social media where he is seen yelling, “White power!” followed by a racial slur.
While Hoskins eventually took the video down, the internet is forever.
Watch the video here with headphones if you don’t want racial slurs coming from your speakers.
In an interview with WTVD-TV, Hoskins said:
“Just to set the record, I’m not racist. I don’t mean it in a negative way.”
I dont mean it in a negative way. What other way is there?— janet cooper (@1jcc) November 7, 2019
Watch Hoskins WTVD interview here:
Hoskins posted the video after a victory.
He later celebrated with his White and Black friends where he shouted the racial slur.
Sure the black players were fine with “white power” and the n word. Sure.— tracy (@tracy30597272) November 7, 2019
The former assistant coach claimed that, over the years, his Black friends said it was okay to use the slur as it was classified among friends as locker room talk.
Why was it ever a part of their locker room culture to begin with? Glad he's out.— Grand Scheme (@GrandSchemeMuzk) November 5, 2019
I’m guessing he rolled out the “I have lots of black friends.”— Kenuwine Jenkins (@datjenkinsboy) November 7, 2019
Now, his indiscretion cost him his job.
“Fifteen seconds of fame in the wrong way. I’ve ruined the last 12 years of my career.”
Hoskins’s letter of resignation read:
“I John Phillip Hoskins resign effective immediately as a football coach from Knightdale High School. I’m sorry, Love you guys! 1.Mind 1.Heart 1.soul STATE! 11-3-2019”
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
People were incredulous about any Black friends allowing him to use the racial epithet.
The people who are stupid enough to believe his story don't realize that even IF he says stuff like that in front of players, he's their coach. He's an authority figure, one who decides if they play or not, in essence he has some control over their future. If they were +— *•.¸♡ ???????????????????? ???? ???????????????????? ♡¸.•* (@Usako99) November 7, 2019
He told the news station that he means nothing by the N-word and that it occasionally “slips” in conversation.
“I guess I’ve been around them for so long. We’re friends. I mean nothing from it.”
“The word can be used in multiple ways. They treat me as any of their own friends.”
“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.”
“Once a year, it slips. To have them smile and laugh. Besides that, I mean nothing from it.”
What kind of message does this send to teens?
I was at that last game against CHHS. Those Knightdale players had no class after the game. Their behavior showed how they’ve been taught.— Dwight Stephenson (@GoHeels44) November 6, 2019
HE'S BUSTED. True feelings come out at the damndest times, am I right? Rhetoric trickles down from the top, right John Hoskins?— Michaele Glenn (@tribal_showcase) November 7, 2019
Only “condoned” by black player bc he’s their coach and they have to “play ball” to play ball if you get my drift. Every white kid I knew growing up claimed their black “friends” didn’t care about their racist talk and behavior.— sureau (@heyeokah) November 7, 2019
But imo “condoning” is a survival mechanism.
A rational adult would know better.
You are correct... but hes an adult and should know better. Even being given permission you have to know whats right and wrong and its how yku truly feel.— LoveTheWayYouLive (@clewisjr) November 6, 2019
Let's say the A.American players were ok with him using the N word which I doubt he never can under any circumstance. then on top of that White Power? He doesn't have a clue.— LCG (@Cooltropic) November 7, 2019
His excuse does not explain why he yelled white power and called them that.. is he just stupid and the black kids are making him out for a fool? Or he is another lost man that cannot think for himself. No identity?— Terry (@terryleenl) November 7, 2019
Words matter. Good luck in your future— Donald Carr (@realDonaldCarr) November 7, 2019
The Huffington Post shared Knightdale principal Keith Richardson’s letter to parents after he accepted Hoskins’s resignation.
“I was made aware of a disturbing video showing an assistant coach on our football team making racist comments at a local establishment on Saturday night.”
“While he was not a teacher or full-time staff member at our school, I was greatly dismayed and disappointed to see this type of behavior and mindset from someone in a position of trust.”
“John Hoskins has resigned and is no longer affiliated with our school or our football team.”
At the latest school board meeting, Chair Jim Martin acknowledged the situation.
“Again, a very significant and severe racist incident occurred over the weekend. From this board, I want it to be clear that any such racist engagements, whether it’s from staff or students, are inappropriate, not accepted and wrong.”
“I want to acknowledge it and thank Superintendent (Cathy) Moore for engaging right away. Action has been taken and we will continue to move forward in this collective work for all of us to build a school system that is welcoming and frankly worthy of all the citizens of Wake County.”
It’s 2019. If you have to ask if you can use a word, you can’t use that word.
The book The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why is available here.