A college basketball coach is apologizing after using an analogy during a recent locker room talk in which he told his players that they needed to “stay on the plantation.”
Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott made the comments following a tough loss to Xavier last week.
McDermott apologized for the remarks in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday:
On February 27th, after an emotionally tough loss on the road, I addressed our student-athletes and staff in the postgame locker room and used a terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss. Specifically, I said: ‘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.’
I immediately recognized my egregious mistake and quickly addressed my use of such insensitive words with my team. I have never used that analogy and it is not indicative of who I am as a person or as a coach. I am deeply sorry. I have apologized to our student-athletes and to our staff, as well as to President [Daniel] Hendrickson and Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen.
Over the last 72 hours, I have engaged in multiple difficult conversations with student-athletes, staff, parents, and University administrators and I realize the pain that my words have caused. For that, I sincerely apologize. I am committed to ensure that this will never happen again and am using this as a learning experience. While there remains work to be done and trust to earn back, I appreciate our student-athletes’ honesty and will maintain an open dialogue as we grow and learn together.
Creighton also released a statement addressing what they referred to as McDermott’s “hurtful” comments:
Coach McDermott acknowledged the impact of his words and apologized to his student-athletes, their families and his staff. While an apology is a start, and while we believe this was out of character for Coach McDermott, in no way does it diminish the fact that his remark was hurtful to many and has absolutely no place in the Creighton community. We have offered our full and unconditional support to those affected by his words.
McDermott is one of the longest-tenured coaches in the NCAA. He has coached at Creighton since 2010. Before that he coached at Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and North Dakota State.