Texas Christian University head football coach Gary Patterson apologized for using a racial slur Sunday while telling a player to stop saying the word, ESPN reported.
TCU linebacker Dylan Jordan publicized Patterson’s use of the N-word in a Twitter post. Some players reportedly skipped Monday’s practice in response to the incident.
“I met with our seniors and leadership council last night about how we move forward as a team, together,” Patterson said in a statement posted on Twitter. “We are committed as individuals and as a program to fighting racial injustice of any kind.
“I apologize for the use of a word that, in any context, is unacceptable,” Patterson’s statement continued. “I have always encouraged our players to do better and be better and I must live by the same standards.”
According to Jordan, Patterson upset him by making fun of him in front of teammates during practice for posting a picture of his girlfriend online for National Girlfriend Day. When Jordan confronted Patterson about it later, Jordan said Patterson called him a “f***ing brat” and threatened to send him back to his hometown of Pittsburg, Kansas.
In Jordan’s recounting of the incident, he asked Patterson what he did wrong. That’s when Patterson reportedly accused Jordan of using the racial slur in the team meeting room, and Patterson used the word in the process.
Senior tight end Artayvious Lynn posted a statement online saying that while he has experienced racism at TCU, neither Patterson nor any other coach has ever called him the N-word.
“We were in the locker [room] with Coach [Patterson] discussing ways to move forward,” Lynn wrote. “I feel he understood that he couldn’t say the word regardless. We also asked coach to quit saying, ‘I don’t see color,’ because he has to see it. We living in hard times for black people right now. We must continue to demand change. … Trying to get over 400 years of trauma isn’t an easy task, we must all be open minded and mindful of each other period.”
There is no indication that Patterson will face any discipline for the incident. The university chancellor called it a “teachable moment.”
“He said it trying to ask the players not to use it anymore,” Chancellor Victor Boschini wrote, according to ESPN. “He has since apologized for doing so in this manner and said it was a teachable moment for him and many others.”
TCU is located in Fort Worth, Texas.