People who claim to know/read the Bible often do things that prove that they don’t actually know/read the Bible — like Mark Adams. If the Texas Tech’s men’s basketball head coach was the theologian he claims to be, he wouldn’t be currently suspended for using language that was marinated with slavery and deep-fried in racism, as a white coach to a team full of Black players.
Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” I guess Adams missed Bible study that day.
When the Red Raiders take the floor to play West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday, it will be anyone’s guess if Adams will be coaching the team, as he’s been suspended for God knows how long — or short — after his “racially insensitive” comments.
Quoting scripture is no excuse
Adams told one of his players that there is “always a master and a servant.”
“I was quoting the scripture,” Adams told Stadium’s Jeff Goodman. “It was a private conversation about coaching and when you have a job, and being coachable.”
“I said that in the Bible that Jesus talks about how we all have bosses, and we all are servants,” Adams added. “I was quoting the Bible about that.”
“One of my coaches said it bothered the player,” Adams said. “I explained to them. I didn’t apologize.”
Goodman’s report also mentions a separate incident from earlier in the season when Adams allegedly spit on a player. “I can spit on you whenever I want to,” one person close to the situation said Adams responded to the player. “I don’t remember ever saying that,” Adams replied.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this kind of language
If the ugliness of this situation feels wrongly familiar to you, it’s because something similar happened two years ago. In 2021, Creighton men’s basketball head coach Greg McDermott — who is also white — did his best rendition of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from “Django Unchained.”
“Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation,” said McDermott.
The small bit of comedy in that matter is that McDermott’s actions led to him missing out on signing TyTy Washington to his program — who was a virtual lock — before we found out he likes to impersonate slave masters.
“It was definitely the controversy,” Washington told The Athletic, as he de-committed from Creighton and eventually signed with Kentucky. “I really wanted to attend Creighton. It felt like the situation and the plan Coach McDermott had for me was really good. So it was kind of heartbreaking once I found out what he said. I just felt like the day and age we’re living in — a police officer just killed another young Black man for no reason — him saying something like that, it’s just not right.”
At Kentucky, Washington signed a NIL deal with Porsche and was seen driving an $80,000 car around campus. He spent one year in Lexington before becoming a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
But, what wasn’t funny in that matter is that McDermott only served a one-game suspension for what he did. Yes, in college basketball, a grown man got the same suspension for saying something racist as Grayson Allen did for tripping players during his junior season at Duke.
Adams said what he said and allegedly did what he did because he knew he could get away with it just like Greg McDermott and every other white college basketball coach that’s done something egregious over the past few years. Once slaps on the wrists became the standard, there was nothing to keep these men in check.
Or is there?
Since Mark Adams believes in masters and servants, it means that he and his fellow coaches who’ve stepped out of line over the past few years also have bosses — who have enabled this behavior and let it go unchecked. And that points to a systemic issue within “leadership” at every level. Think about that as you prepare to watch these college basketball tournaments on the men’s and women’s side, as the majority of the players will be Black while most of the coaches won’t be.