Recently, North Alabama’s assistant vice president and coach of the Youth Football & Cheerleading League, Brian McCracken, resigned from his position after wearing a racist T-shirt to the team’s practice session. The T-shirt read “The Original Boys in the Hood” with a symbol of a burning cross and a picture of a Ku Klux Klan member covered in a white hood. McCracken was photographed standing beside his friend, Brian McDowell, who also wore a controversial T-shirt with the words, White Pride.” Both McCracken and McDowell claim to have worn the shirts only as a “joke” and nothing more.
But according to Kayleigh Tipton—the league’s volunteer coach and parent of a biracial child—she didn’t see the shirts as a joke at all, which is why she complained to the league’s commissioner, Kenny Jones. However, after issuing her complaint, she was ultimately removed from her position by McCacken’s wife—Melynnda McCracken, the league’s vice president. Melynnda claimed that her decision to release Tipton was a result of “bad handling of the situation and creating major drama.”
Tipton stated to Alabama NBC affiliate WSFA that, “I’m just disgusted because I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong besides make a complaint that should have been kept private to begin with” and further, “I asked why and she could not give me any reason.”
Nevertheless, commissioner Jones defended the decision to oust Tipton, but also sighted the concern as a reason to evaluate the situation and take necessary action. “We informed the parents they are no longer allowed to wear that type of shirt to any NAYF functions. We have zero tolerance for any kind of discriminatory apparel or anything”, said Jones, reported by WAFF. However, there are speculations that Tipton was removed from her position due to other reasons, unrelated to the T-shirt controversy.
McCracken’s controversial KKK T-shirt made news nationwide and went viral on social media. Many parents agreed with the decision of removing the cheerleader coach and stated that they prefer their kids stay away from adults who might be a bad influence. Others appreciated the cheerleading coach’s decision, calling it, “the right thing to do” to prevent unnecessarily dragging the matter out.
Despite anyone’s view on the matter, if anyone has any affiliation with kids, especially in a public setting—such as coaching, they should be cognizant of their possibly impressionable jokes and or who they might offend.