Alabama cheerleading coach banned for ‘drama’ after reporting team vice president’s KKK burning cross shirt
An Alabama mother said this week that she was forced to quit as a volunteer cheerleading coach after she complained that the team president and his friend had worn racist T-shirts to practice.
Kayleigh Tipton told WAFF that Brian McCracken showed up to practice wearing a T-shirt that featured a Ku Klux Klansman in a white hood and a burning cross. The caption on his shirt read, “The original boys in the hood.” He was accompanied by his friend, Brian McDowell, who was wearing a “White Pride” shirt.
“It’s awful,” Tipton explained. “I mean, I don’t stand for it, I don’t want my kids around it. No one I know wants their kids around anything like that.”
Commissioner Kenny Jones explained that the issue was addressed by banning racist clothing.
“We ended up taking care of the situation. We informed the parents they are no longer allowed to wear that type of shirt to any NAYF functions,” he said, adding, “We have zero tolerance for any kind of discriminatory apparel or anything.”
The next time Tipton showed up to volunteer as a cheerleading coach, she said that squad Vice President Melynnda McCracken told her not to 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 pointed out. “I asked why and she could not give me any reason.”
Jones insisted that Tipton’s departure from the team had nothing to do with her complaints.
“There was some parent concerns of some drama that was going on so we had to go in, evaluate, do our diligence and see what actions were necessary,” Jones remarked.
Since then, Brian and Melynnda McCracken have also left the team, WAFF reported. But Kayleigh Tipton’s husband, Cody, said that the damage had already been done.
“It’s hard for a biracial child that is 4 and 5 to understand what racism is,” Cody Tipton observed. “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.”
Brian McCracken and Brian McDowell have both said that the T-shirts were intended as a joke.
Watch the video below from WAFF, broadcast Aug. 23, 2015.