Viral video purportedly shows college baseball coach barring student from playing because of his locs
Written by B87FM on August 24, 2023
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An African American Valdosta State baseball player alleges his head coach barred him from playing due to hair length.
In a leaked video posted to social media, a baseball coach tells the anonymous Valdosta athlete that he would not play because of “his locs.” In the recording, the student claims his hair is below the required length.
“The player said he was complicit in the coach’s wishes, but the coach adamantly claimed that the player needed to cut his hair in order to be allowed to play,” The Michigan Chronicle’s Ebony JJ Curry writes.
When the player asks why his white teammates with longer hair don’t have to adhere to the same standard, Curry reports the coach said, “We’re not talking about other players on the team. We’re not going down that route.”
Hair discrimination is still a hot-button issue in the U.S., and laws were passed in various states to combat this matter. From schools to workplaces, Black individuals consistently experience hair discrimination. Nearly two dozen states passed the CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act to tackle such bias. The law prohibits discrimination based on hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists, and afros.
Georgia has yet to adopt the act. The Valdosta University incident underscores the dire need for such legislation in every state.
The anonymous player continued to plead his case, noting that his hair is short, but the coach said, “It’s not short enough to be on the baseball team.”
“I’m the one that sets the rules. I can set whatever rule I want,” the coach added.
Watch the video below.
On Twitter, one user commented under Everything Georgia’s video of the recording, “The fact that the coach wouldn’t allow a conversation about comparison with other players shows you it’s not about the length. He’s in compliance with the length the coach doesn’t like his locs but he won’t say that…”
Another person wrote, “His hair is SHORTER than the other player that he showed the picture of. If he had a helmet on, it would not even be visible! That “coach” should be fired! I’m glad the young man stood up for himself and recorded the conversation.”
A third tweeted, “If one listens to the entire interview, the coach doesn’t emerge from this conversation in a good light, he simply doesn’t want this kid to play at Valdosta State; personally, I wouldn’t want my son playing for this creep.”
TheGrio contacted the school multiple times for a statement but did not receive a response by press time.
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