A winning high-school football coach was fired after the team’s tradition of eating watermelon after games was deemed “inappropriate” and “racist.”
Bud Walpole had been coaching Academic Magnet Raptors football team, and was in the middle of a very successful season, according to CBS Charlotte.
A current Raptors player said the tradition began when players bought watermelons from a man who had been selling them on their route to the game. If they won the game, the team decided, they would eat the watermelon. After they did win, they smashed the watermelon on the ground and then ate it. (The team had to smash their victory fruit because they, understandably, did not have a knife on the sidelines.)
The ritual continued at subsequent victories — until one parent from an opposing school allegedly complained.
According to Charleston school-board member Mike Miller, a parent approached him and said he was offended by the students eating watermelon. The parent also alleged some of the kids were making what sounded like monkey noises.
This parent’s complaint led to a Charleston County School District investigation into the watermelon-eating and Walpole’s eventual firing.
Walpole will still be allowed to teach at the school. Thousands have signed an online petition demanding that he be reinstated as coach.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.