Minnesota Gophers Star Quits Team Citing Verbal Abuse, Gay Slurs

A University of Minnesota wide receiver walked away from the football team after his coach called him a “f*ggot.” A.J. Barker makes this allegation, among others, in a 4,000-word open letter to head coach Jerry Kill.

Barker, a wide receiver for the Minnesota Gophers, said that he would be leaving the football team as well as the University of Minnesota over allegations that head coach Jerry Kill verbally abused him by calling him the homophobic slur and mocking him over his “spiritual views” (he is an atheist).

Though we can’t say for sure whether or not these allegations are true, as the University of Minnesota and Coach Kill have not yet responded to them, Barker’s side of the story is detailed in some depth over at his Tumblr page where he has written a 4,142-word open-letter to the coach and the university. In it, he cites the reasons for his leave, saying that Coach Kill regularly taunted, intimidated, and verbally abused him.

“Now, in honor of my family and myself I’m done with you for good. In light of that pathetic, manipulative display of rage and love you put on this past Thursday, I have come to the decision, with the guidance of my parents and my closest friends, that my time on this team has come to an end. It kills me that I have to do this before the season’s over, but this is the only way I can protect myself against the manipulation and abuse I’d have to endure from you the rest of this season.

“There’s nothing special about me?

“I’m a dime a dozen?

“You don’t know what “f**ked up things happened to me to screw me up so much as a person”?

“My stock fell as a person since I got injured?

“You had 5 of me at Northern Illinois?

“You say I’ll never earn a scholarship under you? That I don’t deserve one?”

You can read more of Barker’s letter here, as it is far too long to post in its entirety. He also sent out a few clarifying tweets regarding his decision to quit and his near-future plans.

What do you think of A.J. Barker’s decision to leave the University of Minnesota? Bear in mind, the other side of the story has yet to come out, but is he a hero for standing up to coach abuse or is there more to it? Sound off!