The football coach for a Florida team has faced criticism for a homophobic Facebook post. (Stock photo via Elements Envato)
An American football coach is under fire after calling being gay “absolutely wrong and disgusting” on Facebook, calling on community leaders to “stop pushing the issue under the rug.”
Johnnie Saunders, founder of the Florida football team Eustis Junior Panthers, wrote the posts last Sunday.
While Saunders deleted the posts after a family member of an athlete reached out, reported Wesh2, he has continued to stand by his comments.
What did the football coach say exactly?
The coach said that he may stop coaching altogether if he is asked to “abandon the morals and values that we were raised on by our good parents and grandparents.”
“We have dropped the ball here in the community when it comes to the needs of addressing these problems with our inner city boys and girls,” Saunders continued.
In one post, he wrote: “If we continue too [sic] remain silent as our young boys turn to [slur], then what kind of men are we!” The outlet did not run what homophobic slur was used.
“I’m disappointed in you with this post,” wrote one user in the comments.
“Whatever it is you are TRYING to say, could have been said much better than this.
“In fact, it could have and should have been said NOT on social media. You supposed to be a stand up dude in the community, you want people to respect you and feel like you have the good of everyone at the front of all you do, but you DONT!”
Coach’s homophobic Facebook post sparks outrage.
Speaking to Wesh2, Saunders said: “I wanted people to address the situation and stop pushing it under the rug.
“These kids are out here experimenting wildly without any guidance and nobody want to touch it.”
Despite the coach’s claims he is not prejudiced, his hardline stance on homosexuality prompted a family member of a former player to complain about Saunders’ anti-gay remarks, prompting him to delete his post.
The president of the Lake County Pride and Lake Youth Alliance joined in the chorus of circus.
“The words of Mr Saunders were careless, harmful and above all prejudice,” Danielle Olivani said.
“In today’s society, the youth in our community face enough harsh criticisms and bigotry with both the school system and the community as a whole.
“By making these remarks publicly known Mr Saunders subjects any LGBTQ youth in our community to backlash and opens the doorway to direct discriminatory acts.”
Johnnie Saunders backtracks and threatens to, yet again, quit coaching.
Amid piling criticism, the coach sent out a series of further Facebook comment, doubling down on his homophobic position.
“God made no mistakes when he created us,” he wrote.
“No matter how much they break our hearts, they do us wrong or even betray us, we continue to love females and females only as our lovers, wives and sexual companions until the very day that we die.
“Anything else is of this world and not of God. It may be accepted but it will be always wrong even by personal choice.”
He later claimed that the criticism showed he can’t “pray out loud” and that he “must be silenced cause the truth offends others.”
“If being a coach means I can’t tell parents sometimes the problems they blame on others really were created right from their very own home,” he wrote.
“I think it’s time for me too proudly head for the locker room and hang up this volunteer whistle.
“I got thirty years plus of teaching young boys and girls about this harsh game called Life.”