TCU coach Gary Patterson apologized on Tuesday for using the N-word in a confrontation with a player in practice on Sunday.
Patterson’s apology follows an accusation by former Horned Frogs defensive back Niko Small, who — in a since-deleted tweet — claimed Patterson used the slur in front of players. Redshirt freshman linebacker Dylan Jordan later tweeted that Patterson used the slur on Sunday when advising Jordan to stop using it during team meetings, causing at least a portion of the team to miss practice on Monday.
TCU chancellor Victor Boschini said Patterson did not use the slur against any player on the team, per Dallas TV station KXAS-TV: “He said it trying to ask the players not to use it anymore,” Boschini said. “He has since apologized for doing so in this manner and said it was a teachable moment for him and many others.”
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Here is how the confrontation between Patterson and Jordan occurred, per a tweet from the latter:
After the confrontation, Patterson met with a leadership team — which includes center Kellton Hollins — to discuss how to move forward from the event, as well as the gravity of what he said, regardless of context.
The incident is the latest in which players have used their platforms to demand systemic change from their universities and teams as it relates to race relations, following nationwide protests demanding the same. In the Big 12 alone, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy faced heavy criticism after wearing an OAN shirt that nearly prompted running back Chuba Hubbard to boycott the 2020 season.
“I apologize for the use of a word that, in any context, is unacceptable,” Patterson said in a statement. “I have always encouraged players to do better and be better, and I must live by the same standards. Our players, past and present, have always been the strength of the program. These men are and will always be my motivation and driving force.”