Creighton men's basketball coach Greg McDermott issued an apology Tuesday for an offensive analogy he used after his team lost to Xavier.
"Guys, we need to stick together," McDermott said in his statement via Twitter, recalling what he said to his players. "We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation."
McDermott said that his intention was to make "a point about the team staying together as a team despite the loss;" however, the head coach realized his analogy was "an egregious mistake." The 56-year-old added that he has since addressed his insensitive words with the team.
Over the last 72 hours, McDermott said he's engaged in many conversations with athletes, parents, university administrators and staff members, and knows that 'there remains work to be done and trust to earn back.'
Creighton released a statement Tuesday evening regarding the head coach's "deplorable language." The school confirmed that it spoke with the athletes on Monday evening, and offered its support to those affected by McDermott's words.
The university added in its statement that it believes this incident was "out of character" for McDermott, and that this language "has absolutely no place in the Creighton community." Creighton ended the statement stating any disciplinary action would remain confidential because of it being a personal matter.
Through Coaches For Action, which was founded by Big East assistant coaches and aims to educate and bring awareness to social justice issues, Creighton assistant coach Terrence Rencher released a statement concerning McDermott's actions.
"I am deeply hurt by his words," Rencher said. "While my relationship with Coach has been positive and I have never witnessed any racist energy from him, what he said was wrong and insensitive.
"'Plantation' had a dark and hurtful history in my community and cannot be overlooked."