The baseball coach at Butler High School in Louisville is under investigation after a player’s father reportedly claimed the coach failed to halt racist slurs directed at the player by his teammates.
Chris Ryan, Butler’s first-year baseball coach, was asked to take a leave from the team April 22 after the teenager’s father shared concerns with school administrators, WDRB reported, citing Ryan’s attorney, Thomas Clay.
Clay could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Gary Austin, whose son was a senior on this year’s Butler baseball team, told WDRB that other players used racial epithets toward his son in school, in the locker room, on the baseball diamond, in text messages and on social media.
Austin told WDRB he shared concerns about his son’s treatment with Ryan, Principal William Allen and athletic director Mike Crawley in February.
When he asked Ryan, who teaches biology at Doss High School, to “do something about it,” Austin said Ryan replied that “he did not see it as a problem, and there’s nothing that he could do about it.”
Austin told WDRB that his biggest issue was the use of the n-word toward his son, but he said Ryan replied that he “hears it all the time” and he “can’t do anything about it.”
Austin added that Ryan said if “he had to stop and do something about that every single time he heard it, he would not even be able to do his job appropriately.”
Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Renee Murphy told the Courier Journal the “matter is being investigated by the district” and an investigation is ongoing.
Murphy did not say whether the district has reassigned Ryan during the investigation.
Clay, the baseball coach’s attorney, told WDRB the claims are “totally untrue and unfounded” and that the player’s parents “never made any effort to discuss it with Coach Ryan.”
This story will be updated.
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