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John Kelly, Oak Lawn Baseball Coach, Suspended Over Whitney Houston N-Word Facebook Comment. The Right Punishment, Yay Or Nay?

Deborah 2012/02/25 22:06:58
Yay: He got what he deserved
Nay: It was to harsh a punishment
Undecided
None of the above
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A suburban Chicago man has been suspended for one year from his post as president of a local youth baseball club after he posted on Facebook that he was "so sick of reading about this dumb stupid N***** Whitney Houston."

John Kelly, of Oak Lawn, Ill., was suspended from his leadership role with Westside Baseball of Oak Lawn on Monday during a board meeting. He has also been asked to complete a sensitivity training course and has been banned from coaching for the next year, though he will continue to serve on the group's board.

As Patch reported, the issue came to light after the mother of a former league player, who is black, saw the Facebook post, which has since been deleted, and alerted other community parents and children to it by reposting it on the group's Facebook page.

The post in question went on to read, "she's the dumb ass that decided to do drugs n kill herself stay with that woman beater ... she blew more $$ up her nose than most of ye will make in yer lifetime ... there are kids dying real fathers n mothers fighting for their lives...grow up ye dumb assess...think she'd give a flying f--- about u???? Just saying."

Kelly, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2008 Democratic primary for Cook County Recorder of Deeds, told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday that the matter has "ruined" his life and career as a self-employed tradesman. He claims he is not a racist and that he "didn't even realize I put [the epithet] in until after I sent it."

That said, Kelly stands by the contents of his posting, except for the racial slur. He said he was frustrated by the media's treatment of Houston's death, which he felt elevated her as a role model for children, as well as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's paying tribute to her.

"I regret using that adjective," Kelly told the Sun-Times. "Does that make me a racist? Are you kidding me? It was the farthest thing from my mind. I have some amazing friends who are black."







The mother who exposed Kelly's posting wishes to remain anonymous but told Patch this week that she felt "betrayed" by the board's decision to not force Kelly to resign from his position.

"I don’t think the punishment fits the crime," she told Patch. "I'm so hurt by this. I thought I was going to get an apology. I told the board members he needs to be removed."

Whitney Houston N Word
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Top Opinion

  • wtxwoman 2012/02/26 03:47:02
    Yay: He got what he deserved
    wtxwoman
    +4
    He should have been kicked off the board, too. No way did he type that slur and not realize he did it. He is a liar, too.

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  • Gordon Deborah 2012/02/27 13:02:40
    Gordon
    Us Floridians know that far too well.
  • Frank Gordon 2012/02/27 01:41:34
    Frank
    +1
    The press doesn't care about honkie or whitey and neither do whites. They only care about the word nixxer so they can flash it all over America and continue to imply all white people are racist......
  • Gordon Frank 2012/02/27 13:04:27
    Gordon
    +1
    You are so right. It is almost as though the national press has elevated black people to sainthood status.
  • Frank Gordon 2012/02/28 16:49:07
    Frank
    +1
    The Press needs to spend a few nights in the inner city here in Kansas City, providing they can make it through the night, or for that matter any major city in America. There perception of sainthood might be altered.......
  • ZB 2012/02/26 06:54:45 (edited)
    Nay: It was to harsh a punishment
    ZB
    When was Freedom of Speech cancelled? I didn't hear about it. People are worried too much about anothers words. Yes, he's in a position that deals with kids. So what? If they're under 13, they're not supposed to be on FB anyway, unless FB changed their policy. If the parents are that sensitive, they shouldn't be on FB either. Not everyone always thinks about every single word they say, write or type. Especially when they are venting about something. I know I don't. I usually apologize when I realize I've said something wrong. But at the moment that it's said, I'm not actively editing. Do I condone what was said...No. But I do support the right to say it. Whether I agree or not. People really need to find something more important to focus on. All this is going to teach the kids is that you CANNOT say, write or type what you think without someone else telling you you can't. think about it folks. If you support freedom of speech, it has to be for everyone. Not just the ones you agree with or that are politically correct.
  • Jackie ... ZB 2012/02/27 00:36:14
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    He had free speech and continues to have it. Free speech does not mean that what a person says has no consequences. Free speech is screaming at your boss and calling him names; the consequences are getting fired. LOL
  • Pat 2012/02/26 06:24:52
    Yay: He got what he deserved
    Pat
    +1
    He's lucky he wasn't fired.
  • Roblem BN-0 2012/02/26 06:22:30
    None of the above
    Roblem BN-0
    +1
    He should have been fired!
  • Deborah Roblem ... 2012/02/26 22:48:40
  • TheTruth1313 2012/02/26 05:53:16
    Nay: It was to harsh a punishment
    TheTruth1313
    +2
    Now, I'm not condoning his usage of the N-word, however, even racist jackass remarks are(or at least used to be) protected by the first amendment. Freedom of speech for all or for none.
  • Thor American EXPAT n New G... 2012/02/26 05:30:25
    None of the above
    Thor American EXPAT n New Guinea
    +1
    Guess Oak Lawn isn't a big fan of free speech. Oh yeah I forgot Chicago is Democrap country. No free speech allowed.
  • Leah Thor Am... 2012/02/26 05:50:39
    Leah
    He is in a leadership position for children. Children look up to him. If he is going to make racist remarks, then he should make his facebook private, and not befriend the students and their parents. However, if he wants to make his views public, then he shouldn't complain about the consequences.
  • Thor Am... Leah 2012/02/26 06:28:01
  • Leah Thor Am... 2012/02/26 08:46:06
    Leah
    I am not the thought police. I'm just stating my opinion.
  • ZB Leah 2012/02/26 06:56:03
    ZB
    If the kids are under 18, they shouldn't be on Facebook anyway.
  • ZB ZB 2012/02/26 06:58:41
    ZB
    I was wrong...under 13.
  • Leah ZB 2012/02/26 08:45:29
    Leah
    I am 18.
  • ZB Leah 2012/02/26 09:21:40
    ZB
    And I did correct myself, if you didn't notice.
  • Inquisitve Kat 2012/02/26 05:18:05
    Yay: He got what he deserved
    Inquisitve Kat
    I hate when people say "I'm not a racist; I have black friends"... it just shows a really poor understanding of racism. The fact that he mistakenly slipped the word in shows that it's part of his mindset... I'm sure he doesn't 'hate' black people, but he is in a leadership role and this punishment sets an example to the children he works with that it's not okay to make racist remarks (consciously or without thought).
  • ZB Inquisi... 2012/02/26 06:56:57
    ZB
    So Free speech only applies if it's politically and/or socially correct?
  • Inquisi... ZB 2012/02/26 07:00:01
    Inquisitve Kat
    No, he's still welcome to say it... his employer is free to react how he chooses, too, though, as are other citizens.
    If he was fined or jailed, that would be a different story.
  • ZB Inquisi... 2012/02/26 07:06:55
    ZB
    +1
    Then it's still not free speech. If I can be penalized for saying something that others don't like...and what I said doesn't break any laws...then it's not free speech. if i have to edit what I say to make others happy, or fit inside a polite social context at all times...it's not free speech. Granted, common sense should be used. But this was a rant on his FB page. He wanted people he knew to see it and know how he felt about it. Easier than telling each person individually. People chose to read it all, then got offended. Their fault for continuing to read.
  • Inquisi... ZB 2012/02/26 07:11:42
  • ZB Inquisi... 2012/02/26 07:17:19
    ZB
    If he had said it in front of the kids, I would agree with you and them. but he posted it on his FB page. There was a little common sense used. Just not enough apparently. But he still has the right to say it...without retribution...on his own FB page. If someone doesn't like it, say so on the page. Don't make a big issue out of something so simple. If he has a history of similar comments, THEN I could see this action being taken.
  • Inquisi... ZB 2012/02/26 07:22:57
    Inquisitve Kat
    Perhaps, but I think it's unprofessional to work in such a field and have a public Facebook profile. If I were an employer in that type of field, I would make it clear that Facebook profiles must be private, or else you will be held accountable for questionable content... people search for other people on the internet, it's become a way of life.
    If they don't make a Facebook policy, they're completely in the wrong by ignoring the actual issue... airing his dirty laundry in a public forum.
    When I worked with children, I wouldn't have dreamed of keeping my profile public, just in case a parent or co-worker decided to snoop.
  • ZB Inquisi... 2012/02/26 09:25:45
    ZB
    I, personnally, don't think that employers should even be looking at that unless invited. I've heard of people not getting jobs because prospective employers looked up their FB page and didn't like what they saw. I'm sorry, but what I do on MY OWN TIME has no bearing on what I do at work. And FB is done on my own time. i shouldn't have to hide it.
  • Inquisi... ZB 2012/02/26 19:56:21
    Inquisitve Kat
    I agree with you idealistically, but realistically, Facebook has become a part of the greater public... if you have a public profile, it's no different than screaming your comments in the middle of a mall.
    If you want privacy, Facebook has the option to make your profile private.
  • hasher Inquisi... 2012/02/26 16:06:33
    hasher
    so if a black person would have made a derogatory remark about a white person then they should be fired as well? people say stupid stuff online all the time, and keep their jobs.
  • Inquisi... hasher 2012/02/26 19:58:42
    Inquisitve Kat
    Yes, they should have, racism isn't only against black people. I am disgusted when it's 'okay' for one group to make racist remarks yet not another. Where did you get the idea that I'd think otherwise?
    People also get fired all the time for making personal comments on public forums...
    Let's use an extreme example to show you what's wrong with that logic: people get away with murder all the time, so why punish those who are caught?
  • doreen.k.gray 2012/02/26 05:09:52 (edited)
    None of the above
    doreen.k.gray
    +1
    First of all I do not approve of the comment but.... who is it that monitors what he says on his computer? Sounds like Big Brother. I say get over it, it's free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Before you get all worked up, ask yourself....

    Is it any different than people on here calling people names like they do?

    Just because he teaches kids doesn't mean he said it to kids. It is still a First Amendment right. Not a First Amendment right if you agree with it. You are taught in grade school sticks and stones... but names will never hurt me. Too bad adults have such fragile egos they can't just get over it. This page is also public and look at the name calling, should that get you fired from your job too? I stand by my position. And kids wouldn't have made an issue of it-- that takes an egocentric adult.
  • Thor Am... doreen.... 2012/02/26 05:34:16
    Thor American EXPAT n New Guinea
    +1
    It was Chicago no such thing as free speech in Democrap land. Also didn't you hear the SCOTUS (in)justice Ginsberg doesn't believe in the U.S. constitution.
  • doreen.... Thor Am... 2012/02/26 05:41:51
    doreen.k.gray
    +1
    You only have free speech if you are not of Christian faith or conservative.

    It's a scary thing to have activist judges on the Supreme Court.
  • Leah doreen.... 2012/02/26 05:49:04
    Leah
    He chose to set his privacy settings to "public." And he is in a leadership position for children. I think the punishment is fair. If he wants to be a racist, then make your facebook private, or accept the social consequences.
  • doreen.... Leah 2012/02/26 06:16:29 (edited)
    doreen.k.gray
    +1
    Disagree- just because he teaches kids doesn't mean he said it to kids. It is still a First Amendment right. Not a First Amendment right if you agree with it. You are taught in grade school sticks and stones... but names will never hurt me. Too bad adults have such fragile egos they can't just get over it. This page is also public and look at the name calling, should that get you fired from your job too? I stand by my position. And kids wouldn't have made an issue of it-- that takes an egocentric adult.
  • CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY 2012/02/26 05:08:18
    Undecided
    CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY
    +1
    It doesn't matter what I think of the so-called coach.

    Whitney Houston died a drug-addled has-been deeply in debt and should've been rightfully celebrated for her awesome God-given talents she had but casually tossed away.

    Instead, her fans and followers sucked up every last word and picture of her funeral which proved to be terribly ostentatious and way over the top.

    Lot's of hot meals, a warm place to spend the night and eons of rehab therapy could've been bought for the less fortunate with the amount of money spent, but no. Materialism over content of character won out. As it usually does in those communities.
  • Thor Am... CUDDLY ... 2012/02/26 05:36:00
    Thor American EXPAT n New Guinea
    +2
    Absolutly. The ME-ME-ME society on parade
  • Deborah CUDDLY ... 2012/02/26 23:34:05
    Deborah
    Which communities would that be?
  • CUDDLY ... Deborah 2012/02/27 15:44:17
  • BHGOzzy 2012/02/26 05:03:00
    Yay: He got what he deserved
    BHGOzzy
    +1
    You don't say stuff like that when you're a public figure representing a bunch of other people. Yeah, that comment would've gotten him in serious trouble anywhere.
  • ZB BHGOzzy 2012/02/26 07:00:10
    ZB
    Then we don't really have freedom of speech, do we?

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