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Minn. baseball coach claims he was fired because of race

Jonathan Wall
Prep Rally

Johnson (Minn.) Senior High baseball coach Michael Grover is at the center of a St. Paul school district investigation, after the coach reportedly posted a message on his Facebook page implying he and another assistant coach lost their jobs because of their race just a week before the start of the baseball season.

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Michael Grover (middle) — Facebook

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Grover, who was the head coach of Johnson's freshman baseball team, saw his squad post only two wins during the 2010-11 season. Despite a strong record over the previous two seasons, the lack of success was reason enough for athletic director Jeff Plaschko -- who is also the varsity baseball coach -- to let Grover and an assistant coach go.

While the district claims the decision was not based on race, Grover claimed the issue of race did come up during his meeting Plaschko. Almost half of the student at Johnson are of Asian descent, but Grover's baseball team didn't field a single Asian player last year. With the size of the baseball team dwindling and the team struggling to win games, Grover claimed the school was going in a different direction in an effort to boost the size of the squad.

"He said he wants to replace us with Asian coaches because he wants more Hmong players on the team," Grover told the Pioneer Press.

The coach's claim that he was fired because of his race set of all firestorm of comments -- both for and against -- on his Facebook page. Grover didn't mince words in his post; he made it perfectly clear where he stood on the district's decision to dismiss him during the school year.

The numbers are down and they want more asians to play baseball, I get that, but to let a qualified person go to hire a unqualified person because of his nationality is unacceptable in this country. If this were a position in the private sector (where your pay is based on your performance) instead of a city position, would I have lost my job then ? I have argued many times that when a private citizen invests his own capital, he wants performance, but we don't have the same standard for tax payers investment.  WELCOME TO THE NEW USA !

The St. Paul school district did note that even thought they were looking into the allegations, they made it abundantly clear that school officials were never released based on their race.

"Under no circumstances do we base hiring or firing on a person's racial or ethnic background," the district said in a statement to the Pioneer Press. "The district has a very clear policy on this, and we adhere to it."

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