Calls Mount For University Of Redlands Football Coach Placed On Leave To Be Fired
University of Redlands football coach Mike Maynard has been placed on administrative leave after a tweet drew backlash on social media. Now, an investigation is underway and some alumni and students are calling for the coach to be fired.
Maynard, the University of Redlands’ longtime football coach, tweeted in response to a video of an explosive device detonating inside a car during protests for racial justice in Riverside last week, “What kind of bomb? I want one of those.”
The tweet immediately drew backlash during a time when the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has inspired protests all over the country, including in the Inland Empire, over police brutality.
Dawit Aklilu is a recent graduate from the University of Redlands. He started the petition to have Maynard removed from his position.
“I'm a black man myself, I've lost friends to police brutality and violence and to hear a man basically diminish the voice of those protesting that is just awful," Aklilu says.
According to Aklilu, a public apology is long overdue.
“The only thing that we've gotten in the way of apology was saying that he meant to have this for a private conversation. Which, you know, doesn't excuse the fact that it was said, and it doesn't address the deeper issue which is, this tweet condoned and co-signed political violence.”
In a statement, Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez says he has placed Coach Maynard on administrative leave without prejudgment and that he will lead a formal review of the incident which will “begin in earnest.”
The online petition to have Maynard fired had 1,280 signatures as of Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, another petition to “support Coach Maynard” had 1,159.
Coach Maynard could not be reached for comment.
Editor's note: The University of Redlands School of Business is a KVCR underwriter.