Creighton University, a small college in Nebraska, suspended its men’s basketball coach for using the word “plantation” while delivering a morale-boosting speech to his team.
Days before the school’s basketball season is set to end, Creighton suspended basketball coach Greg McDermott for using the word “plantation” during a motivational speech delivered to the team after losing an important game. From the context alone, it appears obvious that McDermott did not appear to use the term in a racially divisive way.
In a lengthy apology posted to his Twitter account, McDermott admits that “after an emotionally tough loss,” he “addressed our student-athletes and staff in the postgame locker room and used a terribly inappropriate analogy” to encourage the team to stick together.
According to McDermott, this “terribly inappropriate analogy” was the use of the word “plantation” to describe the team.
“Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation,” McDermott admits saying to his team, in an obvious message of unity delivered after the loss.
I’m sorry. pic.twitter.com/tE6thM1aRc
— Coach McDermott (@cucoachmac) March 2, 2021
After contemplating disciplinary action, the university announced on March 4 that McDermott would be suspended for the grave offense of using the word “plantation” in a motivational speech. McDermott accepted the decision in another statement posted to Twitter.
The university administration declared that McDermott’s use of the word “plantation” is “not in alignment with Creighton’s commitment to racial equity, diversity and respect,” and accordingly, “effective immediately, he is suspended from all team activities, including Saturday’s home season finale against Butler.”
I made a mistake and I own it. Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension. https://t.co/pYOT0X0nMx
— Coach McDermott (@cucoachmac) March 5, 2021
The school also threatened further disciplinary action against the coach. “Further sanctions remain under consideration, not all of which will be shared publicly,” the administration notes.
McDermott accepted his punishment in a statement on Twitter. “I made a mistake and I own it,” he wrote. “Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension.”