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Just last month, Pop Warner football opened an investigation into a coach accused of hurling racial slurs.
The incident, which was caught on video, appeared to show a disturbing use of the n-word directed at opposing coaches.
The altercation, which took place between coaches from teams in Colorado and Connecticut, seemed to conclude with one coach yelling what appeared to be a racial slur.
But according to TMZ, a Pop Warner investigation just concluded that he did not used racially charged language.
Apparently the coach was complaining about the officiating, and referred to the size of his own team.
The investigation found that he said his team “a bunch of f***ing maggots,” would have won if not for the officials.
Just a bit different than a racial slur.
Pop Warner Still Doles Out Punishment
Pop Warner issued a statement at the time, immediately decrying the alleged incident.
“One thing is clear: the abhorrent conduct and language exhibited in this video are unacceptable. Our organization is committed to a safe, inclusive, and positive environment for all young people and their families.”
Yet an investigation found that while, far from exemplary conduct, the coach wasn’t engaging in non “inclusive” behavior.
While it’s hard to hear on the original video, the reaction of the opposing coaches should have been somewhat of a tip off.
You’d think that if they’d heard a racial slur, they’d have reacted, rightfully, much more strongly after hearing it.
But Pop Warner was ready to drop the hammer regardless.
Even after the investigation cleared the coach of using racially charged language, they still suspended him for a year.
The suspension was apparently for “using profanity and acting in a manner that reflects negatively on Pop Warner.”
This incident once again demonstrates the importance of waiting for the facts to come out before rushing to judgment. But many once again assumed the worst before the investigation was concluded.
And it’s likely that the first story containing the accusation will receive much more attention than the update, clearing him of using racial language.
So the cycle will repeat itself the next time there’s a similar claim.