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North St. Paul basketball team cancels game after opposing coach who reportedly used racial slur is reinstated

North St. Paul basketball team cancels game over opposing coach controversy
North St. Paul basketball team cancels game over opposing coach controversy 01:29

NORTH ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A high school boys basketball game has been canceled Friday because of the controversy surrounding a coach.

Players on North St. Paul decided unanimously not to play their game against Eden Prairie.

"I feel like it's very brave of our boys to take a stand," said Dream McLaughlin, the mother of one of the players.

Eden Prairie's coach, David Flom, was reinstated to the job this week after being suspended reportedly for reading a racial slur aloud during a lesson to his team on social media use.

North St. Paul Coach Cornelius Gilleylen says it was his players who led a meeting discussing the situation.

"Saying how they feel about everything going on and made a decision that, 'Hey, we're going to stick together and decide not to move forward on playing,'" Gilleylen said. "Us as administrators and a coaching staff 110% fully supported them."

In completing its investigation into the complaints against Flom, Eden Prairie said:

While state law governing information about employees does not allow us to release any further information at this time, we appreciate everyone's understanding of the importance of conducting a thorough investigation. We listened to multiple perspectives, and hope some learning comes out of this difficult time.

We are so proud of our players and interim coaches for how they have responded to changes this season and for their commitment to each other, and we will continue helping our players reach their full potential as individuals and as a team.

Some parents of North St. Paul players view their sons' decision as a show of support for Eden Prairie's players.

"They said it's bigger than the game," said Gina Stokes. "It's unity, it's brotherhood, it's standing up for what's right."

Gilleylen says he's proud of his team.

"Do what's best for you," he said. "Do what your heart is telling you to do, and I feel like that's what they did."

Danielle Gates, a parent, said she commends the boys for their stance.

Flom didn't immediately respond to WCCO's messages Thursday.

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