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Alabama football coach under fire for racist, homophobic rant in classroom

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

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An Alabama high school football coach has been suspended for 10 days after delivering what can only be described as a racist and homophobic rant in a classroom, all of which was caught in an audio recording.

In a rant that last nearly 90 seconds, Lauderdale County (Ala.) High head football coach Bob Grisham lashed out at “fat butt Michelle Obama” as the reason why the school cafeteria featured low calorie lunches. A second voice on the tape went on to call the first lady a “fat gorilla” and Grisham later claimed that, “what [homosexuals] do is wrong and an abomination against God.”

Grisham led Lauderdale County to the semifinals of the state playoffs in 2012 and has taught in the county school system since 1991. As part of his punishment, Reason.com reports that Grisham will not teach his fifth-period psychology class for the rest of the school year. He will also have to attend sensitivity training.

Grisham’s rant was submitted to Huntsville TV station WAFF-TV and the Times Daily, with the story then picked up by Online Sports Guys, which alerted Prep Rally to the hate-filled rant. Grisham said that he "mispoke in a debate situation," though that didn't appear to ease the pressure on the coach.

“The board’s range is to recommend doing nothing to termination,” James Irby, the attorney for the Lauderdale school board told the Times Daily earlier this week. “And, of course, they have everything in between, such as suspension with or without pay or merely a warning.”

As it turns out, the board didn't waste too much time deliberating, suspending the coach for 10 days without pay for his actions in class.

A full transcript of Grisham’s screed follows below, with expletives or hateful terms omitted.

Grisham: Like those lunches -- you get 600-calorie lunches -- you know who's behind that?

Different voice: Michelle Obama

Grisham: Fat butt Michelle Obama

(Giggling in background)

Grisham: And look … look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She's overweight.

Different voice: Big fat gorilla

(laughter)

Grisham: I'm serious. Y'all, our country is, is, is going in the wrong direction.

Different voice: It's going straight to hell.

Grisham: You'd better be aware of it. And people running around like, oh it'll get better, it'll get better. No, it ain't gone get no better until things change. I can give you example after example of that, but I don't want to use any local names to give you examples. Things won't get better until there's a change in some areas and stuff. And you know what his platform was? Change. We're gone change. We're all … aw it's OK …. for … and … y'all can get pissed off at me or not. You can go tell the principal, you can call the superintendent and tell her. I don't believe in [homosexuals], I don't like [homosexuals]. I don't … I don't hate them as a person but what they do is wrong, it's an abomination against God. I don't like being around [homosexuals].

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