Sources tell 10News 2 Serra High School football coaches who wore blackface will be suspended
NAACP called for coaches to be fired
Last Updated: 39 days ago
SAN DIEGO - Two Serra High School football coaches who dressed in blackface for Halloween will be suspended, sources told 10News.
Witnesses told 10News they saw Brian Basteyns and Harold Seeley wear the blackface costumes to a San Diego State game last weekend. Parents told 10News one of the coaches then posted the Halloween photos on his Facebook page.
Sources told 10News that San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten met with local NAACP and Anti-Defamation League leaders this week to discuss the incident that has sparked controversy.
Sources said at the meeting, the parties agreed that both men should be suspended. However, the exact details of the suspension were not released.
A press release issued by the district said Marten and leaders from the NAACP and ADL would hold a "diversity news conference" on Friday at 12:30 p.m. to address "diversity issues and Serra High School costume situation."
Earlier this week, NAACP leaders called for the coaches to be fired over the incident.
Some Serra High football players told 10News the costume issue was being blown out of proportion. Player Jonathan Ziv called it a "harmless prank," while Josh Garcia said that is what Halloween is all about.
Team captain Richard Price, who is black, said he also laughed when he learned the coach had dressed up like a member of the Jamaican bobsled team, saying Basteyns sometimes played the "Cool Runnings" movie about them for his students.
"He's an emotional guy, but I've never seen him break down like that," said Price. "He was really upset that these allegations were happening and he felt as if he really did something wrong and he really wanted to express to us his apologies."
10News learned Basteyns met with his team on Tuesday and apologized.
One parent told 10News on Thursday she believes suspending the coaches is a bit harsh -- a sentiment many students seemed to agree with.
"It's Halloween today and I see people wearing sombreros and all that, but I didn't think they should have got suspended," one student said.
Another student added, "I think it's kind of ridiculous; they're exaggerating a situation for one, it' not even offensive to a variety of people."
Peggy Spates, a Serra High U.S. history teacher, disagreed with the coaches' costumes.
"There's just certain things you don't do. You don't call people the N-word or any other racial epithet. You don't put black on your face, I don't care what team you're trying to represent."
10News went to the coaches' homes to get their side of the story, but there was no response.
A district representative would not immediately issue a comment on the matter.
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