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A former player and coach for Louisiana College has filed suit in federal court against the Southern Baptist school and its president, saying it refused to re-hire him for an assistant coach position because of his Jewish descent.
Joshua Bonadona, who grew up Jewish but converted to Christianity while playing for the school, was an assistant coach with Division III Louisiana College after his playing career concluded. He then left the school and went to Southeast Missouri State to be a graduate assistant with the program in the summer of 2015.
In the spring of 2017, there was a coaching change at Louisiana College. Bonadona says he was interviewed to be Louisiana College’s defensive backs coach and recommended for the job after the interview where he says he was asked about his faith. Then he said the school’s president, Rick Brewer, refused to hire him because he grew up Jewish.
From the suit, which was published by Bayou Brief. The school had not issued a response to the outlet at the time of the article’s publication.
Approximately a week after Mr. Bonadona’s interview, Justin Charles called Mr. Bonadona and informed him that despite the recommendation to Dr. [Rick] Brewer, Louisiana College had decided not to hire Mr. Bonadona because of his “Jewish descent.” Mr. Bonadona asked Justin Charles what that meant, and Justin Charles stated that Dr. Brewer refused to approve Mr. Bonadona’s hiring because of what Dr. Brewer called Mr. Bonadona’s “Jewish blood.”
Bonadona said he had resigned his position at SEMO after the interview because he was planning to take the job at Louisiana College.
The suit alleges that Louisiana College violated Bonadona’s civil rights by refusing to hire him because of his heritage and that people of Jewish heritage are protected as a distinct race as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It asks for “recovery of all available damages from Louisiana College and Dr. Brewer, including backpay, lost benefits, costs associated with obtaining a new job, general damages, punitive damages” and attorney fees.
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