Creighton Men's Basketball Coach Facing Criticism After Using Racist Language

March 4, 2021, 8:59 a.m. ·

A basketball goes through a net
(Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels)

The head coach of Creighton University's men's basketball team is facing heat after using racist language during a post-game speech to players after a road loss over the weekend.

In a statement, Coach Greg McDermott apologized for asking his player to “stay on the plantation” after losing to the Xavier Musketeers Saturday in Cincinnati.

Dr. Cynthia Robinson is the chair of the Department of Black Studies at The University of Nebraska at Omaha and says the origin of the phrase traces back to the days of slavery.

“Saying stay on the plantation means stay here, work as hard as you possibly can, quite frankly for free, for the good of the plantation,” said Robinson. “That is really what that would mean.”

Robinson says McDermott probably didn’t mean to say it in that context, but likely offended many of his black players regardless.

Mike’l Severe is a sports journalist who has been covering Husker athletics since 2002 and says McDermott had a sterling reputation before his comments, but now his job could be in danger.

“We've seen this. We've seen people reference whether it be the Holocaust or reference something involving, you know, Hitler or involving something in slavery, and it's gotten people fired,” said Severe.

Severe predicts whether McDermott stays or goes after this season depends on the mood of the players and coaches he offended.

ESPN reports McDermott offered to resign over the incident.