A horrifying report has emanated from Frisco, Texas, where a now-former assistant football coach allegedly told African American players he would, “hang them from a tree by their toes,” if they acted out during team activities.
Documents released by the Frisco school district, and obtained by the Dallas Morning News, paint a disturbing portrait of the actions taken by Frisco Centennial assistant football coach Todd Campbell. Here are more of the claims made against Campbell by African American student athletes, as relayed by the Morning News:
Students said coach Todd Campbell also stereotyped black students by claiming that they must run fast because they were eating fried chicken or drinking Kool-Aid. He would also say “esé,” a Spanish slang for “homeboy,” around Latino students and use the term “cracker,” according to documents released to The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday under an open records request. …
In one instance, he was trying to quiet a group of students. “You need to be quiet. You see that rope over there, you see that tree back there, I’m going to hang you in that tree. I’m going to hang you by your toes,” Campbell said, according to one student who shared it with district officials
The coach also had four students pose and then pulled up a picture of the R&B group New Edition and compared them.
It should be noted that Campbell has steadfastly denied the claims against him, though he resigned from the school in January when students told administrators that Campbell had directed racist comments toward them. One student who brought accusations against the former coach claim that he only made the comments against African American players when they were isolated away from white and Hispanic teammates.
There is no sense that additional punishment may be in the offing for Campbell, particularly now that he no longer holds a position in the district. Instead, additional scrutiny has fallen on Ronny Mullins, the former Centennial head football coach who was named Irving MacArthur athletic director and football coach after the 2015-16 season. Mullins has defended his handling of accusations made against Campbell during the season, though some parents of students who were attacked have argued that more should have been done.
The same can’t necessarily be said of the school itself; Centennial has complied with a since-completed independent investigation and has engaged with a group called Citizens for Positive Change to discuss how to improve diversity issues on campus.