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Racist Facebook messages land coach, youth league in hot water

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A youth football coach in Georgia has jeopardized his future, and that of the youth football association in which he works, with a series of racist ramblings on Facebook, with his comments inciting fury among parents of athletes in his league, which boasts a minority enrollment of 50 percent.

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According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Frank Samuelson, the coach of a team of 10-year-olds in the Brookwood (Ga.) Football Association, enraged parents of the players on his team with a series of posts in October where he referred to those of South Asian descent as "red dots" and Hispanic-Americans as "Beaners," while also attacking women and other minorities.

Among others, the Journal-Constitution cited the following two Facebook comments as two that incited the fury of Samuelson's football parents:

"I was dining in an Asian buffet today [big surpise], and I heard this morning how Asian students are suppodely so much smarter than American kids. My personal observation is that those fishheads still eat with chopsticks. It took Western ingenuity to invent the fork. I'm just saying. ... they a'int that friggin' smart." [...]

“How to solve illegal immigration: Arrest the 30+ million illegals that are here first. Have them build a huge brick wall across the border [those guys do great brick work], and make them build it from the Mexican side of the border. Mount 50 calibre machine guns across the top and shoot anyone trying to climb over."

The coach -- who also served as vice president of the Brookwood Football Association -- claimed that the comments were not intended for public consumption and referred to them as private jokes between him and friends, a defense which was good enough for BFA leadership to defend his role and keep him among the group's leadership core.

That, in turn, has led to public backlash, with parents threatening to pull their children out of the league altogether.

"I drive a good ways just so my son can play at the park because I wanted him to play with the best -- Brookwood is known for baseball and football," Roxanna Godden told the Journal-Constitution. "My son is mixed [racially]. If Frank is at the park next year, I don't think, my son will be there."

With the board still refusing to listen to parents' concerns about Samuelson's comments, the dispute now threatens to become a flashpoint for a neighborhood in transition. While 68 percent of the students in Brookwood schools were white in 2005, the past five years have seen the area's population become much more diverse, with only 48 percent of white decent and 32 percent of students now black or Hispanic.

"[The Brookwood Football Association board] have called the police on us, locked us out of the building when we tried to meet and attacked our parents in the stands at playoffs," Blake Fleming, a white youth football assistant coach who launched the movement of concerned parents, told the Journal-Constitution. "We pay a premium to live in this neighborhood."

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