The horrific locker room injury suffered by Davidson (Ala.) freshman quarterback Rodney Kim Jr. has led to a broken arm, national outrage, a $12 million lawsuit and arrest warrants for eight of Kim Jr.’s teammates. All of those are positive steps, but they aren’t enough, according to Kim Jr. himself.
Indeed, as the freshman expressed at a Mobile County Board of Education meeting Monday night, the only thing that can bring some semblance of justice to his suffering would be the dismissal of head coach Fred Riley.
Kim Jr. was hardly alone. He was flanked by his parents and followed in speech by his mother, Mary Kim. Fifteen others also spoke up calling for Riley’s dismissal, including Kim’s grandparents, sister and a cousin, according to AL.com.
Still, it was the comments of Kim Jr. himself that were most persuasive, with the teen making clear that the mental and physical trauma he carries from his ordeal ensure that he can peacefully coexist with the Davidson coach.
“Each day that Riley continues to be the head coach is a constant reminder of the nightmare that I have endured and that I have to relive every single day of my life,” Kim Jr. told the Board, according to AL.com. “I am pleading with you and each member of the Board to fire coach Riley.
“How would you feel if that was you in that locker room or if that was your grandson or your great grandson? I want you to sit and think how would you feel and take that into consideration.”
The outgoing Mobile County superintendent, Martha Peek, made clear that the board could have no comment on the incident because its internal investigation into the matter had concluded and because of the Kim family’s lawsuit against the district.
Meanwhile, AL.com noted that Davidson recently started summer workouts alongside the school band, cheerleaders and ROTC members, as confirmed by Davidson assistant football coach Jay Pope.