Details are continuing to emerge about the Cincinnati-area recreational basketball team that was ejected from its league for sporting racially offensive jerseys. On Thursday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the coach of the team, Walt Gill, sent an email to the league spokesperson that contained no apology, but did contain a request for a refund.
A refund. Seriously.
The Enquirer obtained the email thread between Gill and league spokesperson Ben Goodyear, and Gill’s attitude is beyond defensive.
Walt Gill said in the emails no one had complained to him about the racist and sexist jerseys his recreational basketball team, nicknamed the “Wet Dream Team,” wore during its first three games this season.
“I really don’t feel that this was handled correctly,” he wrote in an e-mail to the league spokesperson.
Since no one complained about the jerseys or the team name during those first three games, Gill seems to believe that he should have been given the chance to rectify the situation. The phrases on the back of the jerseys included “Coon” and “Knee Grow,” and when players were finally asked about their jerseys, Gill didn’t intervene and the players laughed like it was a joke. I’m pretty sure the only way to rectify that situation is to kick the team out of the league, which is what happened.
Here’s where it really gets ridiculous. After Goodyear wrote an email to parents alerting them that the team had been removed from the league, Gill sent a truly baffling message in return.
Gill responded, saying the names on the jerseys, which included “Coon” and “Knee Grow,” were variations of the players’ surnames.
“With that, I am going to ask that 65 percent of the money we spent be returned to my team and their parents,” he wrote. “I wish you luck in your league.”
To recap: Walt Gill allowed his team of high school basketball players to name themselves “The Wet Dream Team,” allowed them to use racist and sexist phrases on their jerseys, and now wants a refund after claiming that those racist and sexist phrases are just variations on players’ last names.
Not surprisingly, Goodyear wasn’t having any of it.
“Fiery” is how Goodyear described his reply to Gill in an interview Thursday.
“Sir, you can discuss payment with your coordinator,” he wrote in his email response to Gill. “Coon is a racist term not a variation of (the juvenile’s name).”
In the interview, Goodyear said he can’t believe how Gill responded in the e-mail.
“I just could not believe that any adult would want to argue or try to justify this behavior,” Goodyear said.
It’s hard to believe, but that’s just what Walt Gill is doing. It is, however, easy to believe that someone who would try to justify that behavior would also ask for a refund when they are clearly at fault. Something tells me Gill won’t be getting that money back.
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