Coach says his players were called racial slurs, blames election for empowering bigots

Dave Wood, Red Devils’ head coach says his players were called racial slurs, blames election for empowering bigots. (Provided Photo/WANE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The West Lafayette High School boys basketball coach is calling the president of the United States a bigot after two of his players were called the N-word.

He wrote about it in a piece published by the Lafayette Journal and Courier.

“I finally decided to do it publicly after this incident,” said Dave Wood, who is currently in his 23rd season as the Red Devils’ head coach.

Wood said two of his players were walking from Happy Hollow Elementary School to the high school on Monday when an SUV stopped nearby. He said the people inside called the players the N-word.

“My players, at that point, got out of the situation and got to one of their homes. But they were obviously shaken by the situation,” he said.

Wood said too many similar incidents have been occurring since the election. He gave strong words in his op-editorial piece to describe why he believes this is the case.

“I believe that black people felt empowered when we elected Barack Obama as president,” Wood said. “And I believe that we have elected a white, bigoted person as president. I believe that people who are white and bigoted feel empowered as well.”

Wood said since the op-ed was published late Wednesday morning, he’s had several people tell him they are proud of him. But he knows his words won’t be well-received by everyone.

“Did I know … that there would be people who disagree with me? Of course I did. If this creates some dialogue that maybe allows us to reach a common ground, then it’s been a good thing,” he said.

WLFI reached out to West Lafayette Community School Corporation Superintendent Rocky Killion for comment on the piece.

“I support my staff, as well as all citizens, to appropriately voice their opinion as allowed by the First Amendment,” Killion said.

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