A New Jersey high school football coach claims he was fired because his football teams featured too many black players. But the reality is he’s probably just another black dude playing the race card to make himself a victim after doing a terrible job of coaching ...
Oh, wait ... he’s white?
And he wins?
Former football coach, golf coach and history teacher Nick Strom says he was terminated from his coaching duties and placed on administrative leave as a teacher at Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, N.J., according to the Courier-Post.
Although his football teams won 34 of the 40 games he coached during his four-year tenure, Strom was informed Friday evening that his contract wouldn’t be renewed. Strom also coached the school’s golf team and taught five periods of U.S. history at the South Jersey high school.
“From day one, the administration told me they did not approve of the ratio of black to white students,” Strom said upon learning of his termination. “When I’d have a list of potential freshmen, the first question I’d be asked is if they were white or black. I was confused about why the question was, ‘How can we get more white players in the program or on the field?’”
The coach, who lost only two games against South Jersey teams in four years, added, “You’re trying to improve your team and trying to help kids be a part of society to make a difference in their lives.”
Strom said that he had never received a bad performance review as a teacher, and he provided the Courier-Post with two teacher reviews that backed up his assertions. He alleges that school administrators brought up the topic of his team’s racial makeup “about 10 to 20 times” during his tenure because minorities were about half of his football squad’s roster.
Camden Catholic President Mary Whipkey and Principal Heather Crisci deny Strom’s allegations. In a statement, the administrators said: “We do not comment on personnel matters, but it has come to our attention that he has chosen to muddy the reasons for his dismissal with baseless accusations against the school and administration. Any concern about racism or racial insensitivity is taken seriously and investigated fully.”
The school officials also provided an April 27 letter outlining their concerns about the coach:
“After several meetings to discuss with your performance throughout the year, renewing your contract for 2018-2019 was made with reservation and hope that you would address these concerns in a positive manner,” the letter said. “However, recent events that have occurred (after the preliminary contractual time period for notice of renewal) indicate that our optimistic expectations were ill-advised, and have led to my decision to not offer a contract for next year. These include, but are not limited to:
- Professional dress violations as stated in the faculty handbook;
- Disrespect to the President after being questioned on your professional dress;
- Leaving class early at the end of the day to prepare for golf;
- Leaving your class in the hallway and not providing instruction while you were (talking) to a college coach;
- Confronting again a faculty member in front of students; and
- Allowing students to leave your classroom in the middle of instruction and hang out in other areas of the school.
Strom did not deny that he had been reprimanded for not wearing a tie in compliance with the school’s dress code. He also acknowledged that he had another teacher watch his class while he unlocked the locker room for his golf team after school and allowed students to leave his class.
“If I’m finished with a test, kids will ask if they can go to the library or go to the AV Club or can they go work with teacher X, Y or Z who might be helping them. Every teacher in the country does this,” Strom explained. “All of our bathrooms are locked. There aren’t kids just walking around the hallways. They’re doing schoolwork. None of this is remotely close to being egregious.”
After learning of Strom’s dismissal, 25 of the coach’s supporters, including players and parents, met with Whipkey, Crisci and athletic director Derrick Levine.
“They told us they wouldn’t answer any questions,” said one of the students’ parents. “They just said they’d listen to what we had to say.”
After the 30-minute conversation, 22 students walked out of the school in protest.
About half the players on Strom’s team were minority students. According to City Data, the town of Cherry Hill is 7.3 percent black.
You’ve gotta give the school credit. They know how to get the black students to leave.
Coaches under consideration for the opening include Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer and an unnamed Starbucks barista.