Creighton Players Make Video Explaining 'Plantation' Outrage

Their coach made some shocking post-loss remarks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2021 9:00 AM CST
Players Speak Out After Coach's 'Plantation' Speech
Creighton's Shereef Mitchell is among a group of players who were broadcast on the scoreboard reading a statement about suspended coach Greg McDermott, at the team's NCAA college basketball game against Butler on Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Omaha, Neb.   (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

Five Creighton basketball players explained in a short pregame video Saturday why they were hurt by coach Greg McDermott's remarks in his locker room talk following a loss last weekend, per the AP. A sixth player who didn't speak in the video, star guard Marcus Zegarowski, said after the 93-73 win over Butler that even though McDermott made a mistake with his choice of words, he loves and supports all of his players. McDermott twice used the term “plantation” as part of an analogy urging team unity. The university suspended McDermott indefinitely on Thursday, after he had coached in a Wednesday loss at Villanova. Assistant coach Alan Huss was interim head coach for the Butler game. “I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation,” McDermott told the players after a loss at Xavier on Feb. 27.

Creighton players hadn't commented publicly about McDermott's remarks until five Black players spoke in the pregame video at CHI Health Center. “James Baldwin said not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed without being faced,” Christian Bishop said at the start. Shereef Mitchell then said, “For slaves, life on a plantation was filled with mental, emotional, physical, psychological and sexual abuse. You were owned as property and not human. Slaves had no rights and no voice." “What Coach Mac said hurt me and my teammates,” Denzel Mahoney said. The video ended in silence with all the Creighton players locked arm in arm on the court. McDermott publicly apologized Tuesday and again Wednesday. Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said additional sanctions were under consideration, none of which would be made public.
(More Creighton University stories.)

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