A white high school football coach in North Carolina has resigned after posting a video on Instagram in which he yelled “White power” and used the N-word. But he insists he is not racist and said he has been encouraged by black friends and players on the majority-black team to use the racial slur.
John Hoskins resigned from his post as assistant football coach at Knightdale High School on Sunday, the school's principal said in a statement Tuesday.
The principal, Keith Richardson, said he was "made aware of a disturbing video showing" Hoskins making racist comments at a local establishment over the weekend.
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"While he was not a teacher or full-time staff member at our school, I was greatly dismayed and disappointed to see this type of behavior and mindset from someone in a position of trust," Richardson said.
The principal also said, "using the language of white supremacy stirs up feelings of fear, intimidation and threats of racial violence."
Hoskins was at a bar celebrating the team’s win over the weekend, when he shouted in a now-deleted Instagram video: “White power, Knightdale. I still love you, N-words,” according to The News & Observer. The newspaper's media partner, ABC 11, obtained a copy of the video. Hoskins, who could not immediately be reached for an interview Thursday, told ABC 11 he was with black and white friends when he made the remarks.
Earlier this week, he told ABC 11: "Just to set the record, I'm not racist. I don't mean it in a negative way."
He also said that over the years, his black friends have told him it was OK to use the N-word.
"I guess I've been around them for so long. We're friends," he told the station. "I mean nothing from it. The word can be used in multiple ways."
The video was shared with administrators before it was deleted.
The high school principal said Hoskins' remarks do not reflect the school's values and will not be tolerated.
"It is important at this time that we make sure we listen to our football players and our student body as a whole to understand how racist comments like these affect them, and then provide the support and services they need," Richardson said in his statement, adding that school counselors will be available to players and other students who wish to "talk through their emotions and reactions."
In a letter to parents, Richardson appealed with everyone in school communities “to see, to understand and to interrupt racism in all its forms.”
Janelle Griffith is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.