A high school basketball coach in Portland, Oregon came under fire this week after he allegedly objectified two black players by demanding white players touch them so that fear of black skin would not affect game play.
In a complaint obtained by the Willamette Week, four parents of students at Lincoln High School complained that their children were humiliated and objectified by coach Pat Adelman, the son of former Trail Blazers coach Rick Adelman.
According to the complaint, Adelman exploded at his player during a halftime tirade, and told them that they were losing because the white players were “afraid to touch black students.”
The parents said that Adelman singled out two players who were black and demanded that the white players touch them.
“Does that make you like black people now?” Adelman reportedly asked. “Well, do you keep a flashlight handy when you have sleepovers with them?”
Laurie Wimmer, who is one of the parents and a lobbyist for the Oregon Education Association, contacted Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith directly when she learned of the incident, Willamette Week reported.
“When it is brought to the attention of a student of color that they are considered by the white world to be ‘outsiders,’ as Coach Adelman did in this outrageous act, that is something that cannot be undone,” Wimmer and other parents stated in the complaint. “Forever after [the students] will be, to their teammates and in their own eyes, ‘black’ and ‘other.’ Not ‘Lincoln students.'”
Although the district declined to comment on specifics about the case, PPS spokesman Jon Isaacs told the paper in an email that Adelman was back on the job after six days of paid leave.
Another email obtained by the paper indicated the district planned to hold a “restorative justice meeting” and “something about getting Adelman some sort of training was also vaguely implied.”
The three parents have demanded that Adelman be fired.
Watch the video below from KATU, broadcast Feb. 10, 2016.