By Peter Gleason
Nick Strom claims he lost his job as Camden Catholic football coach because he had too many black players on the team.
According to the Courier-Post, Strom has been fired despite a 34-6 record over four years. He has also been placed on administrative leave as a history teacher. The school disputes that his firing has anything to do with race.
“I think this is from me not conforming with their viewpoints on what they want the student body and the football team to look like,” Strom said, according to the Courier Post. “I’ve tried to build this program into one that’s based on kids being of ability, high character and high grades.
“From day one, the administration told me they did not approve of the ratio of black to white students.”
Strom, who is white, says that half of the team is made up of minorities. He said the race ratio of the team came up “10 to 20 times” with the administration.
“When I’d have a list of potential freshmen, the first question I’d be asked is if they were white or black,” he said, according to the Courier-Post. “I was confused about why the question was, ‘How can we get more white players in the program or on the field?'”
School president Mary Whipkey denied Strom’s allegations:
“We are not that kind of environment and we take it very seriously when those accusations are made,” Whipkey told the Courier-Post. “This is a special community here. We embrace our diversity here. Those accusations are not true.”
Strom, 30, told the Courier-Post that he did have a conversation with Whipkey about not wearing a tie. He also said that he asked a fellow faculty member to watch his class while he unlocked a locker room for the golf team.
According to the newspaper, 25 people, including football players and parents, gathered in the parking lot of the school in support of Strom on Monday morning. They met with administrators, who they said would not answer questions but listened to their viewpoint.
Later Monday, 22 students walked out of class.