SPORTS

Alabama Cheerleading Coach Dismissed After Reporting Racist T-Shirt Worn By Parent

The man who wore the shirt said it was just a "joke."

An Alabama cheerleading squad has lost two of its coaches after a pair of racist T-shirts appeared at an August practice. 

Brian McCracken, the assistant vice president of a Boaz, Alabama cheerleading team, resigned from his post late last week after wearing a Ku Klux Klan shirt to a North Alabama Youth Football & Cheerleading League practice, reports local Alabama affiliate, WAFF. The shirt's text reads, "The Original Boys In The Hood," and offensively makes a comparison to the 1991 film "Boyz N The Hood," which focuses on gangs South Central Los Angeles. 

McCracken's friend, Brian McDowell, who is not a coach for the team, joined him at the practice sporting a "White Pride" shirt.  
 

Both men told WAFF that the shirts were worn as a joke, but their presence at the youth cheerleading practice alerted volunteer cheerleading coach Kayleigh Tipton to complain to Kenny Jones, the commissioner of the North Alabama Youth Football & Cheerleading League.

Jones responded to the incident by contacting McCracken and banning him from wearing racially inflammatory shirts to cheer practice -- something that shouldn't really have to be said -- but nonetheless, it was Tipton who was ultimately punished, not McCracken.

According to WAFF, the next time Tipton showed up at practice, Boaz's cheerleading vice president and Brian's wife, Melynnda McCracken, asked her to not come back. 

"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,” Tipton said. “I asked why and she could not give me any reason."

Both Brian and Melynnda have since resigned, reports WAFF, but the Tipton family iterated that the damage has already been done -- not to the parents, who completely fumbled the situation, but to the kids, who had to witness this racially-inflamed drama first-hand. 

"It's hard for a biracial child that is 4 and 5 to understand what racism is,” Kayleigh’s husband, Cody Tipton, said. “It just outrages me and a lot of other parents but no one will stand up to it because of the consequences their children will get."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report, following WAFF's report, misidentified Brian McCracken as a coach and assistant vice president. A spokesman for the league told HuffPost that he does not hold an official position, as reported by the local affiliate. His daughter is on the team and his wife served as the vice president, a position she no longer holds. The news station declined to comment on the misidentification.

 

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
Confederate Flag Comes Down At South Carolina Statehouse