Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English apologized this week after he was fired for using gay slurs in a profanity-laced rant directed at his team after a previous game. During a film session with some members of the team, English repeatedly referred to the team as “b — — — ,” telling them that they had quit and had no pride in their play on the field. At one point in the rant, which the Detroit News posted (redacted) here, English directed a gay slur at the players in the room.
“I don’t have f — — respect for you, b — -! I don’t have respect for you little q — –ass b — -, because that’s what you are,” English said. “You went and got your ass kicked, quitter!”
Eastern Michigan fired English, who was 11–46 in more than five years as the Eagles’ head coach, Friday afternoon. He later apologized, telling the Associated Press that he “lost my poise” during the rant.
“As a man who has coached 21 years, obviously, on this occasion and particular meeting, I lost my poise, got upset and used language that was inappropriate, particularly as it pertains to homosexual slurs. I regret that,” English said. “I apologize to the university for putting it in this position and tarnishing its reputation. I look forward to continuing a career that has been marked by molding men of integrity, passion, and intensity for 21 years.”
It’s easy to fire a coach with a record as bad as English’s, but still, give credit to Eastern Michigan administrators for immediately recognizing that their university had no place for that sort of behavior. English is at least the second coach fired for directing gay slurs at his team in the last year. Rutgers University fired men’s basketball coach Mike Rice for abusing players during practice and, at times, directing homophobic language at his team. Rice, according to a New York Times profile released last week, has since worked with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network on seminars aimed at making sports more open and tolerant for LGBT athletes. While English is looking for his next job, it’d be nice if he took the opportunity to turn his mistakes into a similarly positive learning experience.