An assistant high school football coach in the Raleigh suburb of Knightdale, North Carolina, has resigned after using the N-word and shouting “white power” to celebrate a football win Friday.
John Hoskins, a 32-year-old coach at Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design, told ABC11 Tuesday he was at a bar celebrating the school’s victory against Corinth Holders High, when he shouted:
“White power, Knightdale. I still love you, N—–“
Hoskins told ABC11 he was with both Black and white friends at the time.
“Just to set the record, I’m not racist,” Hoskins said. “I don’t mean it in a negative way.”
He said he was caught up in the moment and that his Black friends had given him permission to use the racial slur.
“I guess I’ve been around them for so long. We’re friends,” he told ABC11. “I mean nothing from it. “The word can be used in multiple ways. They treat me as any of their own friends.”
Hoskins told ABC 11 “15 seconds of fame in the wrong way” and he’s “ruined the last 12 years of my career.”
The former assistant coach reportedly submitted his resignation letter to Knightdale’s principal Nov. 3.
“I John Phillip Hoskins resign effective immediately as a football coach from Knightdale High School,” he said in the letter ABC11 obtained. “I’m Sorry Love you guys! 1.Mind 1.Heart. 1.soul. STATE!”
School Principal Keith Richardson said in a statement on the school’s website Tuesday he was “greatly dismayed and disappointed” to see Hoskins’ behavior.
“It is the responsibility of a coach to uphold the highest standards of behavior. They are role models to our children on and off the field, and are trusted to coach our students with the utmost integrity,” Richardson told the news station. “When a staff member breaks that trust, it is deeply upsetting.
“Furthermore, using the language of white supremacy stirs up feelings of fear, intimidation and threats of racial violence.”
Richardson called on the school community “to see, to understand and to interrupt racism in all its forms.”
“While we’ve implemented a number of immediate actions and responses to address this situation, it is important as your principal that I carefully reflect and talk with our students, parents and staff about how these events deeply impacted our school community,” he said.