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Several Black Eden Prairie boys basketball players quit after coach uses racial slur

Several Black Eden Prairie boys basketball players quit after coach uses racial slur
Several Black Eden Prairie boys basketball players quit after coach uses racial slur 02:02

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – A high school basketball playoff contender is dealing with the fallout of a coaching controversy.

Several Black players quit the Eden Prairie JV and varsity teams after the varsity head coach, David Flom, said a racial slur during a team meeting.

Flom used it as an example of what not to say online.

Some of those former players, community members and other students brought protest signs to Wednesday's playoff game.

"It was a tough decision [to resign] because I've been playing basketball my whole life," said Tyler Nduulu, a junior.

Cameron Riggins-Brown, a sophomore, said he's a lot more comfortable with the decision than he was at first because he's doing what he believes in.

Flom was suspended, then reinstated after an investigation.

"I was definitely shocked at first [by what he said]," Riggins-Brown said. "It made me uncomfortable and confused at the same time why it was necessary to say it."  

Coach David Flom CBS

"A coach that I've known for this long, why is he using this language?" Nduulu said. "It was kind of disappointing."

The protesters would like to see Flom removed as coach.

"Why can't these children feel safe, comfortable, and enjoy a high school experience free of discrimination?" said William Walker, the Nduulu family attorney.

Nduulu says he doesn't want another young player to have to go through what he and his teammates went through.

In a statement to WCCO, Marcia Flom, the coach's mother, said, "This has been a very difficult process for many people. Thankfully we have a strong family and a family of faith to help us through these difficult times. David has always loved his players. The hardest part has been the intentional lies that have been spread and he cannot respond. He has made his decision to keep coaching and caring about all his players, and we support him 100% as do so many in this community."

A district spokesperson said Wednesday, "Out of respect for the parties involved, we don't comment on pending legal matters or personnel matters. Right now, our focus is on supporting students through the end of the season. Our primary goal in everything is ensuring we're fulfilling our mission of inspiring each student every day -- whether that's on or off the court -- and that means we need to continuously listen to multiple perspectives and think holistically about how to best serve students in the program."

Eden Prairie lost to Prior Lake, so their season is over.

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