North Carolina Football Coach Resigns After Using N-Word, Says He’s Not Racist

'I don't mean it in a negative way,' said John Hoskins.

a football on the ground
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'I don't mean it in a negative way,' said John Hoskins.

A North Carolina high school football coach has resigned after video of him using the N-word appeared on social media, Raleigh’s WTVD reports. However, John Hoskins says that he used the word in a joyful context that was not meant to be taken offensively.

Last Friday, Hoskins’ Knightdale High School defeated Corinth Holders High. Hoskins and some friends, which he says included blacks and whites, went later to celebrate at a local bar. In a moment of revelry and excitement, Hoskins says, he used the word that has cost more than one person their job.

“White power, Knightdale. I still love you, N*****s!”

Hoskins put the video up on social media before taking it down, but the damage had already been done: someone noticed the video and brought it to the attention of his superiors at Wake County Schools.

Hoskins later resigned, saying that he didn’t want to be a “distraction” to the football program at his school.

Whether or not he’d have been fired remains unclear. On Tuesday, school district superintendent Cathy Moore said that the language Hoskins used was and is “not okay,” and the district said that Hoskins’ use of that word violates district policy.

Hoskins, for his part, says that the use of that word is just part of the camaraderie that he shares among his group of friends, many of whom are black, and even among the players on his team, the majority of whom are black. He also says that those friends and players gave him permission to use that word.

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“They joke around. We joke around. They walk up to me and say it. ‘Hey coach, just say it. You’re a good coach. Just say it.’ Once in a while, it slips. Once a year, it slips. To have them smile and laugh. Besides that, I mean nothing from it.”

He insists he’s not racist, and also regrets that a poor choice of words, uttered off-the-cuff, appears to have cost him his career.

“Fifteen seconds of fame in the wrong way. I’ve ruined the last 12 years of my career,” Hoskins said.

He is not the first person to have their career undone by using that word. In fact, as reported by The Inquisitr, an African American man was fired for saying that word. Security guard Marlon Anderson was let go after he used the word while telling an unruly teenager, who had called him the word, not to use it.