FORT WORTH, Texas - Texas Christian University’s head football coach apologized for using the ‘n-word’ when calling out a black player for saying the same word.
Gary Patterson says no matter the context, that word is unacceptable. It appears the team is ready to move forward.
The coach has apologized and met with his athletes to talk about how to move forward, but some are still stuck on the fact that he, a person in a position of power, used that word at all.
Patterson is continuing to receive criticism for his use of the n-word, regardless of the context. He has apologized, agreeing it is unacceptable in any context.
Students and alumni are still talking.
“It feels, at the very least, very tone-deaf,” said Cameron Law, a 2020 graduate.
The chancellor of TCU and other players who support Patterson say the coach used the racial slur when calling out a black player for saying it.
That confrontation happened during practice Sunday with redshirt freshman Dylan Jordan who posted about it on social media and admits using the term.
Jordan also said, "It ain’t about calling me the n-word. That never happened. It’s about the fact that it’s not acceptable to be said regardless of context."
Jordan says because what happened, some players skipped practice the next day.
Players like tight end Antavious Lynn and receiver Deirus Davis have explained on social media that the incident got blown out of proportion.
Patterson himself put out a message after George Floyd’s death in May with #bethechangeyouwanttoseeandfeel.
“It is unimaginable and unacceptable that racism of any kind still exists in 2020,” he said in the May message. “I challenge all coaches and leaders to use their platform to create change. We must try to make it possible for all our children to grow up with the possibility to achieve their dreams.”
In a statement, Patterson says he’s met with seniors and the leadership council about how to move forward, adding, “We are committed as individuals and as a program to fighting racial injustice…”
Senior Center Kelton Hollins, who was at the meeting with Patterson, said on social media Patterson agreed the slur is unacceptable in any context.
Hollins echoed Patterson, saying: “We have discussed ways to move forward while keeping in mind the mental health of the football team. Coach P understands the significance of what he said."
Law says, for someone like Patterson to use that word, in any context, shows how much more work there is to be done to educate and hold people in power accountable.
“It was really unfortunate to see somebody in a position of power, like Gary Patterson, would feel that as the head of a predominately black football team that he’s comfortable enough using that word at all,” Law said.
The TCU chancellor has called this a teachable moment for Patterson and others.