The rule when talking about the vile 200-plus year slavery period in American history is simple: If you make a reference to chattel slavery, it had better be about how wretched it was, or your job will be in serious jeopardy. The only exception to that rule, sadly, seems to be elected officials. Texas Tech Men’s basketball coach Mark Adams’ recent suspension should serve as a reminder to him about that very easy-to-follow rule.
Texas Tech announced that Adams was suspended, effective immediately, because in a discussion with a player he was “encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching and referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters.” Also in the statement, the university stated that Athletic Director Kirby Hochutt was initially only going to issue Adams a written reprimand, but instead the suspension will be used “to conduct a more thorough inquiry of Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.”
Adams should definitely be fired
Maybe Texas Tech will try to work this out with Adams, but there is no point. His authority with the team has already been compromised, and keeping him in that position will harm future recruiting. His buyout (if he is fired without cause) is $7 million. Comments as offensive and idiotic the ones that Adams made should at the least warrant the school not having to pay the full sum.
THERE ARE NO BEHAVIORAL LESSONS TO TEACH BLACK PEOPLE THAT INCLUDE ANY FORM OF THE WORD: SLAVE!
Slave masters used biblical passages about slavery to manipulate their own slaves into obedience without giving any credence to the other 99 percent of the Bible that demanded that they live humbly and treat others — including their slaves — the way that they want to be treated. A person using those scriptures to instruct a Black person is employing a tactic from violent hypocritical bigots who held other people in bondage.
“Listen to me because God wants you to,” is in no way leading with Christian intentionality. It’s a one-sided ask, absent of any self-lessness. Also, Texas Tech is a public university and an employee paid by the state should not be using a religious text to teach or bend students to his will.
What Davis said to a player was not only staggeringly stupid, but outrageous and highly offensive. But unlike the practice of chattel slavery, there is an actual lesson to be learned from this moment in 2023.
Leaning formative education in the opposite direction of teaching a true account of slavery will cause great harm. Davis was born in 1956, and whatever lessons about slavery that he wasn’t taught or didn’t pay attention to during his time in school will likely cost him millions of dollars. Florida residents, this could happen to your kids one day if they are taught American history with a red, white, and blue hypnotic spiral for 13 years.