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Austin Cline

Coach Jerry Kill Called Player 'Faggot' for Being an Atheist?

By November 19, 2012

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A.J. Barker, a wide receiver for the University of Minnesota Gophers, is leaving the school and team to play somewhere else for his last year. In a long public letter, he details the extensive abuse he endured at hand of coach Jerry Kill - including a personal attack for being an atheist.

Jerry Kill, 2011
Jerry Kill, 2011
Photo: Leon Halip/Getty

To be fair, the rest of the behavior that Jerry Kill is accused of engaging in is probably worse than simply calling a person names over atheism, but at the same time it's all arguably connected because it all comes from a lack of respect for others as well as a lack of decency and character.

Even if you accept that a good coach has be relatively harsh/aggressive in order to build a good team (I'd question that, but let's accept it for the moment), insulting a player over personal matters in front of other players wouldn't come anywhere close to qualifying as part of that.

But don't be confused by this explanation into thinking this is a quick/irrational decision based solely around Thursday's event. Last spring before the spring game I was called a faggot for my spiritual views by Coach Reeves where other players on the team heard him say it. Coach Poore put me down the week before the UNLV, calling my play pathetic and claiming I couldn't handle the bright lights.

Source: Dead Spin

Elsewhere, A.J. Barker wrote a tweet which made his "spiritual views" more clear: "1 reason I'm Atheist is cause I want to invest my beliefs in the things I decide. Not what others chose....like a spiritual republican..." I don't understand what "spiritual republican" is supposed to mean here, but the "atheist" is pretty unambiguous.

Can you imagine what sort of outcry there would be if an atheist coach demeaned a Christian player over his religious beliefs? Not only would every conservative evangelical preacher be milking it for weeks, but it would be in the national media and several organizations would offer to represent him in lawsuits. You probably won't see much of anything about this case, though, because attacks on someone over their atheism isn't worthy of attention.

Comments
November 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm
(1) JUDY says:

And so why isn’t this bum of a coach fired from his job of coaching? Why hasn’t someone filed a lawsuit against Kill for harassment and ruining this player’s education? Where is the equivalent of the Southern Law and Poverty Institute of Atheist attorneys on call to go after these intolerant religious bastards?

November 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm
(2) Barry Johnstone. says:

Fancy being called a ‘Bassoon’! As a retired string player, I to would be insulted!

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