Editor’s note: Reader discretion is advised as this story includes some edited profanity and references to racial slurs.
OLATHE (KSNT) — Hours after the Olathe school board voted to fire him Monday, former Olathe North baseball coach Pete Flood is speaking out.
Flood released a statement Monday afternoon offering his side of the story after he said a racial slur before baseball practice. A team member’s father, Tony Banks, posted about the incident last Friday morning. He said his son was playing rap music during pre-game batting practice when Flood came over and used a racial slur.
Banks said Flood told the teen that “we don’t play that [racial slur] music here.”
The Olathe dad said his son is the only Black player on the team.
The district suspended Flood and recommended Flood be fired. Monday morning, the school board agreed, firing Flood. Joe Beveridge, president of the Olathe School Board, called this incident “reprehensible.”
But Monday afternoon, Flood finally spoke out publically, saying the situation was taken out of context, and he’s never used a racial slur toward anyone during his career. He said he regrets repeating the racial slur that was playing in a song, but he doesn’t regret asking that the song be turned off.
After Flood gave his statement, Tony Banks said he encourages the community to believe those who witnessed and overheard the statement.
“Apparently, the school board did,” Banks said.
Read Flood’s entire statement below:
“Never, never, never have I ever used the ‘N-word’ or any other racial slur to address a student, player, or person in my entire 25 year career in this district nor my personal life.
“On May 6th, a player from my team was playing music on a loudspeaker. As I walked by the speaker, the lyrics of the song said, ‘b****s sucking my c**k’ and ‘n*****.’ As you could imagine; I was shocked and offended and asked him to turn it off. When that didn’t immediately occur, I repeated, ‘Turn that off, we are not going to play music that says ‘b*****s sucking my c**k and n*****.’ Change the song, change the artist, change the genre. I don’t care, just turn that s**t off.’
“At this point, he turned it off and I continued on to observe the sub-varsity practice. In my opinion, these types of lyrics should never be played in a public venue at a school event. I deeply regret that I repeated the N-word aloud; however, I do not regret requesting that a song with such offensive and derogatory language be turned off.”
Banks said he hopes his son’s story opens a bigger conversation about race in the community.
“A lot can change. A lot can be done,” Banks said. “Hopefully this will be one of those vehicles that people will say, ‘This got people talking,’ and really show school districts how to handle a situation. It’s unfortunate that it came to this, but I was happy with the decision.”