Yesterday ESPN released video of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice hitting and yelling homophobic slurs at players during practice.
The video outraged many in the sports world, including Miami Heat guard and University of Connecticut Board of Directors member Ray Allen.
In an interview with Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post, Allen spoke emotionally about his disdain for Rice’s behaviour. He called him “despicable,” said players should be allowed to transfer without penalty, and called for Rice to be fired.
He talked about the role coaches play in kids lives, where they are something close to parental figures:
“I mean, it was just despicable. Not only as a parent, but I think about where I went, the places I’ve gone in my career, my parents kind of lent me to all these other people. I’ve been raised not only by mum and Dad, but by several coaches, AAU coaches, high school coaches and then my college coach, and all of them had a hand in getting me to who I am today. And not to mention the teachers that I grew up under, learning, so we trust in the people we lend our kids off to, to help them grow. And I only hope when I let my kids go, there’s somebody watching them and growing and making sure they do that.”
He said it made him want to fight Rice:
“What I’ve seen in that video was despicable. It made me want to fight, it made me want to fight this guy, watching him throw the ball at those players. Because that’s me, wanting to learn, you make mistakes, you’re not doing it on purpose, you’re trying to learn. And that’s what coaches should do, you teach. Yelling at kids and throwing balls at them, there’s no place for that.”
He said he would fire Rice if the incidents happened at UConn:
“I would do everything I can to make sure that coach got fired, whether it was any sport, because there’s no place for that.”
In the video (below), Rice called his players “f***ing f****ts,” pushed them, kicked them, and threw balls at their heads.
He was suspended three games when the school learned about the incidents last December. But now that the video has been made public, they are reportedly considering firing him.