Worcester Wolves torn apart in 'racism' row

Worcester News: 'RANT: Chuck Evans 'RANT: Chuck Evans

READ THE PLAYERS' NOTES HERE

FIVE sacked Worcester Wolves basketball players have for the first time revealed details of the “racist” rant they say was hurled at them by the former team coach.

I should have recognised a long time ago that you white guys are not tough enough.

Chuck Evans

The players are now considering take legal action after they were sacked for threatening to go on strike over the incident. Former head coach Chuck Evans has admitted discussing race with the team and has since resigned, although he denies being racist.

It is the first time details of the alleged two-hour exchange, which led to the British Basketball League club having to postpone all their December games, have been made public.

According to notes taken by the players immediately following the post-match analysis session on Sunday, November 22, Evans, a black American, blamed the team’s recent poor form on there being too many white players.

He is quoted in the players’ notes as saying: “I think I have figured out the problem with our team... looking at the last two teams that we have lost to Newcastle and Chester, they were mainly black guys and I just think we have too many white guys on the team who are not tough enough and too soft.”

He is quoted as going on to say: “I should have recognised a long time ago that you white guys are not tough enough. I’m just calling it like I see it.”

And he is even alleged to have added: “I’m gonna get fired at some point, whether it’s from here, or my next job, so if I am, at least I’m gonna say how I feel about this.”

Following the incident, six of the Wolves professional players – former player-coach Skouson Harker, Nerijus Kalikonavas, Vidmantas Uzkuratitis, Evaldas Zabas, who are all white, as well as Chey Christie and Randy George, two of the team’s black players – were sacked by owner Roger Clarke for threatening to strike. Uzkuratitis has since withdrawn his threat. It is not yet known if he will return to the team, but he continues to study at the university. Evans was handed a final written warning and forced to apologise to the players. But the squad refused to play for him and he resigned.

The club based at the University of Worcester has since appointed a new head coach – Paul James – and is in the process of rebuilding its squad for the new year. Your Worcester News has received copies of the players’ notes from the showdown signed by five of the sacked players as well as assistant coach Chris Mayes. Speaking exclusively to your Worcester News, Canadian-born Harker said: “He (Evans) compared our team to a couple of other top teams and felt that we had too many white players and that is what he said – it got worse from there.”

Kalikonavas added: “It went on for two-to-three hours stepping over the line constantly. He didn’t care if he got fired. I don’t know why he had lost it like that. It wasn’t like one or two remarks, it went on and on.” And Zabas said: “It was a disgrace, I’m angry and shocked by anything that was said.” Christie said: “What he said wasn’t directed at me, but I put myself in the position, if somebody had said that to me I would have been upset. It came down to everyone coming together and taking a stand.”

Evans has since insisted that he despises racism, but has not denied that he made the comments. He said: “My intentions were to have a discussion on race in England basketball.

“I thought professionals could handle a closed-door discussion on race but I was terribly wrong and the discussion got out of hand. “I have accepted responsibility for my actions, apologised and resigned as coach to protect the integrity of the club.

“I despise racism or anyone associated with being racist. Beyond that, I have moved on with my life and have no further comment concerning this unfortunate incident.”

The sacked players have consulted England Basketball, which referred the matter back to the club, and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and have consulted a lawyer.

Having formed at the start of the millenium, Worcester Wolves began life in the National Basketball League. Successive promotions soon saw them in the English Basketball League by 2002 and within five years they were elected to the British Basketball League. During their first season in the BBL the University of Worcester-based side finished bottom, but in 2007 they handed over the reins to former Birmingham Bullets player-coach Skouson Harker.

He spent two years in charge of the Wolves guiding them into the play-offs in his first season before being replaced by Chuck Evans.

READ THE PLAYERS' NOTES HERE

Comments (47)

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9:49am Tue 15 Dec 09

BBaynes says...

I am the Head Teacher at one of the schools where the (sacked) Wolves Players coached as part of the team's community outreach programme. My pupils admired and respected Vid and his team-mates. To my children, the players symbolised all that is good about sports. We were horrified when we first learned of the sackings two weeks ago. How could I explain or even justify this action to my pupils? How could I explain that their heroes had lost their jobs for doing exactly that which we teach them to do - standing up to racist bullies? In primary schools today we take a very strong line against any sort of bullying, especially that which is motivated by racism, and all of us at school were deeply disturbed to find that Vid and his team-mates had been punished for standing up against racism. Since hearing about this, I have emailed and written letters to the manager of the team, the chair of the BBL and anyone else I could think of, hoping that reason and common sense would prevail and that these players would receive justice, rather than punishment. Hopefully this article will now begin to correct the dreadful injustice that has been done to them!

And finally, I, too, am American, like Mr Evans, and I am deeply saddened that his views might be taken to be representative of all my countrymen. Vid and his fellow team-mates WERE (and continue to be) excellent basketball players (just ask any of my pupils), regardless of the colour of their skin, or their nationality - what a pity Mr Evans was too short-sighted to realise this!
I am the Head Teacher at one of the schools where the (sacked) Wolves Players coached as part of the team's community outreach programme. My pupils admired and respected Vid and his team-mates. To my children, the players symbolised all that is good about sports. We were horrified when we first learned of the sackings two weeks ago. How could I explain or even justify this action to my pupils? How could I explain that their heroes had lost their jobs for doing exactly that which we teach them to do - standing up to racist bullies? In primary schools today we take a very strong line against any sort of bullying, especially that which is motivated by racism, and all of us at school were deeply disturbed to find that Vid and his team-mates had been punished for standing up against racism. Since hearing about this, I have emailed and written letters to the manager of the team, the chair of the BBL and anyone else I could think of, hoping that reason and common sense would prevail and that these players would receive justice, rather than punishment. Hopefully this article will now begin to correct the dreadful injustice that has been done to them! And finally, I, too, am American, like Mr Evans, and I am deeply saddened that his views might be taken to be representative of all my countrymen. Vid and his fellow team-mates WERE (and continue to be) excellent basketball players (just ask any of my pupils), regardless of the colour of their skin, or their nationality - what a pity Mr Evans was too short-sighted to realise this! BBaynes

10:09am Tue 15 Dec 09

revanscook says...

As an educator, one of our most important skills to pass onto our pupils is to stand up to racism. Therefore it was to my utter astonishment that these six players were sacked for standing up to a racist bully. We need to counter racism in our modern world so that we can live in harmony, regardless of creed, colour or background.
I salute these guys for standing up to racism and it is just unfortunate that there employers and the BBL did not applaud them for doing this as well. In my eyes they are the heros in this dreadful situation and I suggest the Worcester Wolves and the BBL should re look at there disciplinary procedures and give these men the justification that they truly deserve.
As an educator, one of our most important skills to pass onto our pupils is to stand up to racism. Therefore it was to my utter astonishment that these six players were sacked for standing up to a racist bully. We need to counter racism in our modern world so that we can live in harmony, regardless of creed, colour or background. I salute these guys for standing up to racism and it is just unfortunate that there employers and the BBL did not applaud them for doing this as well. In my eyes they are the heros in this dreadful situation and I suggest the Worcester Wolves and the BBL should re look at there disciplinary procedures and give these men the justification that they truly deserve. revanscook

12:20pm Tue 15 Dec 09

Shapstaduim says...

Dear Mr Chairman of Worcester Wolves,

I urge you to re think your dimissal of these true sportsman, how can you punish them for standing up for something not only they believed in but what the majority of the sporting world believe in.

Yes there may have been a hasty error in judgement by them and maybe they did not follow the right channels for the process but you have made two errors of judgement-1, You employed Mr Evans as coach 2, You have punished players for not allowing what can only be described as a dictator to get away with racism.

You should offer these players there contracts back as they have become great ambassaders of the Wolves by not tollerating bullying, and i hope they agree to continue to play but would not be surprised if they feel let down by YOU......
Dear Mr Chairman of Worcester Wolves, I urge you to re think your dimissal of these true sportsman, how can you punish them for standing up for something not only they believed in but what the majority of the sporting world believe in. Yes there may have been a hasty error in judgement by them and maybe they did not follow the right channels for the process but you have made two errors of judgement-1, You employed Mr Evans as coach 2, You have punished players for not allowing what can only be described as a dictator to get away with racism. You should offer these players there contracts back as they have become great ambassaders of the Wolves by not tollerating bullying, and i hope they agree to continue to play but would not be surprised if they feel let down by YOU...... Shapstaduim

1:37pm Tue 15 Dec 09

Peter WR5 says...

It is outrageous that those who stood up to racist bullying should themselves be sanctioned with dismissal. The statement by Mr Evans that 'I should have recognised a long time ago that you white guys are not tough enough,' says it all and he, himself, should have been dismissed with immediate effect for what in just about every other organisation and company would be regarded as gross misconduct. The fact that the chairman of Worcester Wolves appears not to have recognised this, but appears to have taken Mr Evans' side in the matter, would speak lamentably of his own judgement and would appear to bring the Club into disrepute in the judgement of reasonable people. The appropriate action would be for the chairman to relinquish his position and pass it to another whose compass takes in the stature of those who were dismissed.
It is outrageous that those who stood up to racist bullying should themselves be sanctioned with dismissal. The statement by Mr Evans that 'I should have recognised a long time ago that you white guys are not tough enough,' says it all and he, himself, should have been dismissed with immediate effect for what in just about every other organisation and company would be regarded as gross misconduct. The fact that the chairman of Worcester Wolves appears not to have recognised this, but appears to have taken Mr Evans' side in the matter, would speak lamentably of his own judgement and would appear to bring the Club into disrepute in the judgement of reasonable people. The appropriate action would be for the chairman to relinquish his position and pass it to another whose compass takes in the stature of those who were dismissed. Peter WR5

4:08pm Tue 15 Dec 09

varien says...

Seems to me that the first four posts on this particular subject all know each other and have got together to send comments on this subject as they all condemn what has been said.
However, what if the statement that was made had an element of truth in it? Would it then be seen as rascist?
Have the four players who resigned actually that good? Can't they just take what was said on the chin and then come away determined to be better players.
Seems to me there's a bit of sour grapes somewhere.
Seems to me that the first four posts on this particular subject all know each other and have got together to send comments on this subject as they all condemn what has been said. However, what if the statement that was made had an element of truth in it? Would it then be seen as rascist? Have the four players who resigned actually that good? Can't they just take what was said on the chin and then come away determined to be better players. Seems to me there's a bit of sour grapes somewhere. varien

6:09pm Tue 15 Dec 09

theashes says...

Sorry Varien,
This is an open and shut case of racism and has no place in any place of employment. The employees have a clear case for unfair dismissal and the manager concerned would have been sacked for gross misconduct in most organisations. The sporting context is irrelevant (not to say inappropriate and misguided). I think coach Evans relaised he was making his farewell speech at some stage in this and that is what it should have been
Sorry Varien, This is an open and shut case of racism and has no place in any place of employment. The employees have a clear case for unfair dismissal and the manager concerned would have been sacked for gross misconduct in most organisations. The sporting context is irrelevant (not to say inappropriate and misguided). I think coach Evans relaised he was making his farewell speech at some stage in this and that is what it should have been theashes

6:15pm Tue 15 Dec 09

Peter WR5 says...

Varien,
Be assured that I do not know who the other correspondents are. So, your thought that we have put our heads together certainly doesn't apply in my case. No person who is abused should ever need to take it on the chin. If they were lousy players, then Mr Evans needed only to deal with them on the grounds of the absence of their skills, fitness or commitment, or whatever was the need for improvement. The fact that he linked poor performance to race is his undoing in this matter. Do we say criticise a nurse or a musician or a bank official for being poor because they are black, brown, white or green with yellow dots? No, we limit our criticism to the fact that they are incompetent, and their skin colour, or for that matter religion, race, nationality, gender, or sexual inclination is irrelevant and should never be brought into it.
Varien, Be assured that I do not know who the other correspondents are. So, your thought that we have put our heads together certainly doesn't apply in my case. No person who is abused should ever need to take it on the chin. If they were lousy players, then Mr Evans needed only to deal with them on the grounds of the absence of their skills, fitness or commitment, or whatever was the need for improvement. The fact that he linked poor performance to race is his undoing in this matter. Do we say criticise a nurse or a musician or a bank official for being poor because they are black, brown, white or green with yellow dots? No, we limit our criticism to the fact that they are incompetent, and their skin colour, or for that matter religion, race, nationality, gender, or sexual inclination is irrelevant and should never be brought into it. Peter WR5

7:08pm Tue 15 Dec 09

yeller says...

Consider this - the majority of the top basketball players in the world are black...am I a rascist for stating this?
Consider this - the majority of the top basketball players in the world are black...am I a rascist for stating this? yeller

8:09pm Tue 15 Dec 09

Cromwell of Worcester says...

I'm left wondering if all the rolls were in revers the coach was white and the players black, my goodness what an uproar it would be making ,more so had a certain leader of a certain party had stated it. Still as it is ,it will soon all blow over and nothing from the race relations board or anything take place. Still it will be worth remembering.
I'm left wondering if all the rolls were in revers the coach was white and the players black, my goodness what an uproar it would be making ,more so had a certain leader of a certain party had stated it. Still as it is ,it will soon all blow over and nothing from the race relations board or anything take place. Still it will be worth remembering. Cromwell of Worcester

9:16pm Tue 15 Dec 09

molecat says...

I'm astounded at this. I had no idea Worcester had a basketball team!
I'm astounded at this. I had no idea Worcester had a basketball team! molecat

10:36pm Tue 15 Dec 09

topspin says...

These 5 players should be reinstated immediately. They should not be punished for standing up to a racist bully.
These 5 players should be reinstated immediately. They should not be punished for standing up to a racist bully. topspin

9:45am Wed 16 Dec 09

revanscook says...

Varien,
Thank you for your comments and yes i do know one of the other people who have posted a comment - NO WE HAVE NOT GOT TOGETHER AND POSTED THESE TOGETHER. I feel extrememly strongly about this case as do the other readers who have left comments. These men stood up to a racist bully who they felt they could no longer play for. Standing up to him like we teach our children to stand up to bullys - but instead of the coach being sacked these young men got sacked. Before getting into the education sector I was a manager of a big retail store and if I or any other of my managers had disciplined my employees in this way then it would of been me who would be at the dole office NOT these men. Worcester should be standing behind them - saluting them as heroes. The Chairmen of the Worcester Wolves and the BBL need to start giving these men and us some answers not hiding behind locked doors.
Varien, Thank you for your comments and yes i do know one of the other people who have posted a comment - NO WE HAVE NOT GOT TOGETHER AND POSTED THESE TOGETHER. I feel extrememly strongly about this case as do the other readers who have left comments. These men stood up to a racist bully who they felt they could no longer play for. Standing up to him like we teach our children to stand up to bullys - but instead of the coach being sacked these young men got sacked. Before getting into the education sector I was a manager of a big retail store and if I or any other of my managers had disciplined my employees in this way then it would of been me who would be at the dole office NOT these men. Worcester should be standing behind them - saluting them as heroes. The Chairmen of the Worcester Wolves and the BBL need to start giving these men and us some answers not hiding behind locked doors. revanscook

11:39am Wed 16 Dec 09

JBLM2008 says...

Cromwell of Worcester wrote:
I'm left wondering if all the rolls were in revers the coach was white and the players black, my goodness what an uproar it would be making ,more so had a certain leader of a certain party had stated it. Still as it is ,it will soon all blow over and nothing from the race relations board or anything take place. Still it will be worth remembering.
I agree, this is obviously a racist outburst and my thought's exactly that if the rolls were reversed there would be no doubt this is racist, give the players their jobs back and let Evans get what he deserves a full investigation and charges for racism
[quote][p][bold]Cromwell of Worcester[/bold] wrote: I'm left wondering if all the rolls were in revers the coach was white and the players black, my goodness what an uproar it would be making ,more so had a certain leader of a certain party had stated it. Still as it is ,it will soon all blow over and nothing from the race relations board or anything take place. Still it will be worth remembering.[/p][/quote]I agree, this is obviously a racist outburst and my thought's exactly that if the rolls were reversed there would be no doubt this is racist, give the players their jobs back and let Evans get what he deserves a full investigation and charges for racism JBLM2008

1:37pm Wed 16 Dec 09

BBaynes says...

I am so pleased to see such a healthy debate taking place over this issue, as it is only through such debate and outrage that we will ensure that racism does not continue to flourish in our country and workplace. Because, that is exactly what this is - outright racism and I add my voice to all the others above asking for these players to be reinstated with immediate effect.

Further, I am astonished that it should even matter whether any of us know each other or not. No...there was no collusion in any of these comments. However, the fact that so many of us are saying the same thing is surely indication of how strong the feelings are about this travesty of justice.

I repeat what I have said all along, to both the coach of the team and to the head of the BBL (who, by the way, has never bothered to reply to my letter) - my primary concern is the children in my school. What sort of example does this set to them?! On my desk in front of me are numerous letters from those children to the manager of the team asking him "Why?" and demanding that he reinstate the players. THEY feel this issue strongly and so should all of us! I invited Mr Clarke to come to my school and explain to my children why this has happened. Interestingly, he has not bothered to reply to that letter or invitation. Again, what sort of example does that set to my children?
I am so pleased to see such a healthy debate taking place over this issue, as it is only through such debate and outrage that we will ensure that racism does not continue to flourish in our country and workplace. Because, that is exactly what this is - outright racism and I add my voice to all the others above asking for these players to be reinstated with immediate effect. Further, I am astonished that it should even matter whether any of us know each other or not. No...there was no collusion in any of these comments. However, the fact that so many of us are saying the same thing is surely indication of how strong the feelings are about this travesty of justice. I repeat what I have said all along, to both the coach of the team and to the head of the BBL (who, by the way, has never bothered to reply to my letter) - my primary concern is the children in my school. What sort of example does this set to them?! On my desk in front of me are numerous letters from those children to the manager of the team asking him "Why?" and demanding that he reinstate the players. THEY feel this issue strongly and so should all of us! I invited Mr Clarke to come to my school and explain to my children why this has happened. Interestingly, he has not bothered to reply to that letter or invitation. Again, what sort of example does that set to my children? BBaynes

4:54pm Wed 16 Dec 09

blurtyblogs says...

These players should be reinstated immediately. Their actions only seek to reinforce the excellent work they are doing as role models to the children they work with and those who support them. It is the team that will suffer ultimately as a result of this truly unfair decision. In all walks of life, teamwork is paramount to success. The management of this team needs to seriously re-evaluate prorities!
These players should be reinstated immediately. Their actions only seek to reinforce the excellent work they are doing as role models to the children they work with and those who support them. It is the team that will suffer ultimately as a result of this truly unfair decision. In all walks of life, teamwork is paramount to success. The management of this team needs to seriously re-evaluate prorities! blurtyblogs

5:13pm Wed 16 Dec 09

acbailey says...

This time last year my 14 year old son attended his first basketball match. Worcester Wolves verses Everton. This was a game where he saw black and white players of many nationalities play alongside each other. He heard none of the unpleasant personal and racist abuse often hurled at players by so called 'supporters' in his favourite sport...football. He thoroughly enjoyed the game. His reaction to this article is shock and disbelief that players, no matter what their colour, could be sacked for standing up to a racist bully. What message is this sending out to impressionable teenagers. We are still battling against racism in many sports. It has to STOP and someone in the heirachy of clubs and the sports governing body must make a stand. Perhaps they could start by righting this wrong that has been done. Don't let teenagers think that racism, in any form is acceptable.
This time last year my 14 year old son attended his first basketball match. Worcester Wolves verses Everton. This was a game where he saw black and white players of many nationalities play alongside each other. He heard none of the unpleasant personal and racist abuse often hurled at players by so called 'supporters' in his favourite sport...football. He thoroughly enjoyed the game. His reaction to this article is shock and disbelief that players, no matter what their colour, could be sacked for standing up to a racist bully. What message is this sending out to impressionable teenagers. We are still battling against racism in many sports. It has to STOP and someone in the heirachy of clubs and the sports governing body must make a stand. Perhaps they could start by righting this wrong that has been done. Don't let teenagers think that racism, in any form is acceptable. acbailey

5:24pm Wed 16 Dec 09

varien says...

I have read the player's notes that were taken at the meeting and find them absolutely amazing. Amazing inasmuch that whoever was taking the notes can write very quickly, used shorthand or the meeting was recorded. To prepare the notes using colloquial English as necessary, supposedly word for word, would not have been easy, unless it was all recorded of course. These notes were brilliantly written if their objective was to get rid of the coach.
I have to admit that my gut feeling tells me that there is possibly some sort of conspiracy here so that they could get rid of the coach and the easiest way to do this was to play the race card.
When you read the article it says the players were sacked for threatening to go on strike. I think the players reaction to all this is somewhat childish and selfish. They must have known that their actions would be detrimental to the club and possibly put the club in a position from which it never may recover. To do this to a club that is in a top-flight league is to me inexcusable - they don't exactly come across as team players do they? Really proffessional sportsman should be able to rise above all what was said and put their loyalities to the club and the rest of the team first in order to ensure the club's success.
I have read the player's notes that were taken at the meeting and find them absolutely amazing. Amazing inasmuch that whoever was taking the notes can write very quickly, used shorthand or the meeting was recorded. To prepare the notes using colloquial English as necessary, supposedly word for word, would not have been easy, unless it was all recorded of course. These notes were brilliantly written if their objective was to get rid of the coach. I have to admit that my gut feeling tells me that there is possibly some sort of conspiracy here so that they could get rid of the coach and the easiest way to do this was to play the race card. When you read the article it says the players were sacked for threatening to go on strike. I think the players reaction to all this is somewhat childish and selfish. They must have known that their actions would be detrimental to the club and possibly put the club in a position from which it never may recover. To do this to a club that is in a top-flight league is to me inexcusable - they don't exactly come across as team players do they? Really proffessional sportsman should be able to rise above all what was said and put their loyalities to the club and the rest of the team first in order to ensure the club's success. varien

5:48pm Wed 16 Dec 09

Cromwell of Worcester says...

So the next time you hear, see ,or read about a Black/Brown racist attack, abuse or what ever ,walk on by, turn the page, flick the TV over, after all they are very good at it too.The only difference is some black chairperson of a none productive board will with out doubt jump on it .to promote hostility amongst the populace.
So the next time you hear, see ,or read about a Black/Brown racist attack, abuse or what ever ,walk on by, turn the page, flick the TV over, after all they are very good at it too.The only difference is some black chairperson of a none productive board will with out doubt jump on it .to promote hostility amongst the populace. Cromwell of Worcester

5:49pm Wed 16 Dec 09

blurtyblogs says...

Dear Varien,
If you had read the article correctly, you would have seen that the whole meeting was being filmed. The players notes are obviously transcripts of the dialogue.
To suggest that these players are being 'childish and selfish' is to demean all that decent people stand for!
Dear Varien, If you had read the article correctly, you would have seen that the whole meeting was being filmed. The players notes are obviously transcripts of the dialogue. To suggest that these players are being 'childish and selfish' is to demean all that decent people stand for! blurtyblogs

6:00pm Wed 16 Dec 09

revanscook says...

Varien
You obviously have not read the articles correctly as if you had you would of noted that the Coach admitted to the allegations and resigned after the players were sacked! Before you start demeaning people for standing up to something that they truly feel upset about I suggest you read all the facts.
Varien You obviously have not read the articles correctly as if you had you would of noted that the Coach admitted to the allegations and resigned after the players were sacked! Before you start demeaning people for standing up to something that they truly feel upset about I suggest you read all the facts. revanscook

6:24pm Wed 16 Dec 09

varien says...

Oh blurtyblogs, silly me. I thought the film being referred to was film/video of basketball matches on which the coach was making the comments.

And to revanscook - I have read all the facts and I am trying to apply a bit of lateral thinking on this one. Unfortunately the reactions I am getting are the typical reaction of those that prefer to direct their rage at people that have the audacity to disagree with them.
At the end of the day the question I ask you is "Do you care about the future and success of the club?"
Oh blurtyblogs, silly me. I thought the film being referred to was film/video of basketball matches on which the coach was making the comments. And to revanscook - I have read all the facts and I am trying to apply a bit of lateral thinking on this one. Unfortunately the reactions I am getting are the typical reaction of those that prefer to direct their rage at people that have the audacity to disagree with them. At the end of the day the question I ask you is "Do you care about the future and success of the club?" varien

6:56pm Wed 16 Dec 09

revanscook says...

I think all the players definately think of the furture of the club and the youth of today. One of the players in question came to our school and coached our pupils after signing the strike paper - he did not at any time tell any of us what had happened and we only found out about all of this from the Worcester News. I think this speaks volumes it self that these men value there club and the sports hero image that all our pupils look up to. The Club should of supported their players and the club would not be in this predicament now.
I think all the players definately think of the furture of the club and the youth of today. One of the players in question came to our school and coached our pupils after signing the strike paper - he did not at any time tell any of us what had happened and we only found out about all of this from the Worcester News. I think this speaks volumes it self that these men value there club and the sports hero image that all our pupils look up to. The Club should of supported their players and the club would not be in this predicament now. revanscook

8:27pm Wed 16 Dec 09

blurtyblogs says...

Well said Revanscook! If club chiefs cared about "the future and and success of this club" as much as these caring players do, we wouldn't be having this debate!
Well said Revanscook! If club chiefs cared about "the future and and success of this club" as much as these caring players do, we wouldn't be having this debate! blurtyblogs

9:14pm Wed 16 Dec 09

MrV says...

As a regular supporter of the Wolves for the past 6 years I can only say how shocked and saddened I was by this whole episode.

Since my initial introduction to the sport through the Wolves work in local schools I have become hooked as have most of the family. My children, when younger, regularly attended the camps. As a parent one felt complete trust in the coaches (players) both in their ability to coach the game and keep control of the youngsters. Indeed they looked up to the players (literally as well as metaphorically) who were excellent role models.

Anyone who has attended matches can vouch for the atmosphere generated - unfortunately we don't win as often as would like - but that is sport.

As has been mentioned by others the environment is safe and friendly and for us older ones it beats standing in the rain watching football. It is genuinely a sport where rival fans sit side by side cheering for their respective teams and when it is over there is often a genuine hard luck / well played / safe journey - it is a sport after all.

The players are not overpaid prima donnas, and at the end of games they are approachable for a chat - where they come across as average guys you can relate to.

As the stories have unfolded these past few weeks the Wolves management have been put in an unenviable position. This article seems to suggest that the players were dealt with harshly for taking a stand against what can be kindly described as provocation.

If there really is no way back for these players I would like to wish them well and say thank you for the good times - sadly for Worcester I think a couple of them were real match winners.

And finally there is a sense of irony in all this. If you spoke to Chuck Evans he actually came across as a gentleman, may be this was his 'public' image. Anyway, like another top American sportsman his cover has been blown.
As a regular supporter of the Wolves for the past 6 years I can only say how shocked and saddened I was by this whole episode. Since my initial introduction to the sport through the Wolves work in local schools I have become hooked as have most of the family. My children, when younger, regularly attended the camps. As a parent one felt complete trust in the coaches (players) both in their ability to coach the game and keep control of the youngsters. Indeed they looked up to the players (literally as well as metaphorically) who were excellent role models. Anyone who has attended matches can vouch for the atmosphere generated - unfortunately we don't win as often as would like - but that is sport. As has been mentioned by others the environment is safe and friendly and for us older ones it beats standing in the rain watching football. It is genuinely a sport where rival fans sit side by side cheering for their respective teams and when it is over there is often a genuine hard luck / well played / safe journey - it is a sport after all. The players are not overpaid prima donnas, and at the end of games they are approachable for a chat - where they come across as average guys you can relate to. As the stories have unfolded these past few weeks the Wolves management have been put in an unenviable position. This article seems to suggest that the players were dealt with harshly for taking a stand against what can be kindly described as provocation. If there really is no way back for these players I would like to wish them well and say thank you for the good times - sadly for Worcester I think a couple of them were real match winners. And finally there is a sense of irony in all this. If you spoke to Chuck Evans he actually came across as a gentleman, may be this was his 'public' image. Anyway, like another top American sportsman his cover has been blown. MrV

9:39pm Wed 16 Dec 09

a.large says...

I comment as a mother with my own opinion and not of that as someone who has a connection with the above school (in case varien questions my motives!) My child has been taught by vid from worcester wolves and i can do nothing but praise him and his fellow team, my child has learnt about health, discipline, team spirit as well as how to actually play the game! HE IS a TRUE ROLE MODEL i am proud to say he has taught my child. After receiving the news my child came out of school crying (which is unheard of unless truely upset) asking me why he had been sacked, at first i was not aware of the facts but after doing some research on the matter i was to put it bluntly gob smacked and had to tell my child the truth which is he was sacked for standing up for what was right and that racist attacks of any sort are not to be tollarated or allowed she then asked "why was he sacked but the coach was not?" unfourtunately i have no answer as i totally agree so all i can say is worcester wolves swallow your pride take a step back a deep breath and do what is right and give the players their contacts back before you lose any sort of respect you may still have.
I comment as a mother with my own opinion and not of that as someone who has a connection with the above school (in case varien questions my motives!) My child has been taught by vid from worcester wolves and i can do nothing but praise him and his fellow team, my child has learnt about health, discipline, team spirit as well as how to actually play the game! HE IS a TRUE ROLE MODEL i am proud to say he has taught my child. After receiving the news my child came out of school crying (which is unheard of unless truely upset) asking me why he had been sacked, at first i was not aware of the facts but after doing some research on the matter i was to put it bluntly gob smacked and had to tell my child the truth which is he was sacked for standing up for what was right and that racist attacks of any sort are not to be tollarated or allowed she then asked "why was he sacked but the coach was not?" unfourtunately i have no answer as i totally agree so all i can say is worcester wolves swallow your pride take a step back a deep breath and do what is right and give the players their contacts back before you lose any sort of respect you may still have. a.large

9:44pm Wed 16 Dec 09

a.large says...

"their contracts not contacts!!"
"their contracts not contacts!!" a.large

10:25pm Wed 16 Dec 09

bballmom says...

Reading the story and comments made by Mr Evans, I am shocked, appalled and angry. I am disgusted that the University has sat and watched all this from a distance as their partner in sport, the Wolves, have operated like absolute amatuers. Mr Clarke has clearly dropped the ball with this issue, and to think that a racist coach was going to be allowed to continue to have a position of power to keep abusing your clubs players is truely appalling. It appears as your typical 'sweep it under the rug' and slap the coach on the wrist with a minimal punishment. Thank god the players stood up to this bully and he resigned. Mr Clarke, I would love to invite him to my sons school, St. Georges, in which Skouson and Chey used to coach so well at and have Mr Clarke stand up in an assembly and field questions from the angry teachers and pupils. But I would be surprised if he would have as much heart as the players that stood up for what was right. Mr Clarke it is time for you to stand up, and show your community what you are made of and reinstate these men of true character.
Reading the story and comments made by Mr Evans, I am shocked, appalled and angry. I am disgusted that the University has sat and watched all this from a distance as their partner in sport, the Wolves, have operated like absolute amatuers. Mr Clarke has clearly dropped the ball with this issue, and to think that a racist coach was going to be allowed to continue to have a position of power to keep abusing your clubs players is truely appalling. It appears as your typical 'sweep it under the rug' and slap the coach on the wrist with a minimal punishment. Thank god the players stood up to this bully and he resigned. Mr Clarke, I would love to invite him to my sons school, St. Georges, in which Skouson and Chey used to coach so well at and have Mr Clarke stand up in an assembly and field questions from the angry teachers and pupils. But I would be surprised if he would have as much heart as the players that stood up for what was right. Mr Clarke it is time for you to stand up, and show your community what you are made of and reinstate these men of true character. bballmom

9:59am Thu 17 Dec 09

BBaynes says...

Well said, bballmom! I agree with you 100%. Like you, I have already invited Mr Clarke to my school to talk to my children and teachers, and explain his decision to sack these men. I issued my invitation to him last week and you won't be surprised to hear that he hasn't even replied. Perhaps that is because he knows he can't look these children in the face and adequately explain or justify his actions! Vid and Skouson and the other players are heroes to our children, all the more so now when they have shown how we should all respond to racism and bullying. They should be congratulated, reinstated and allowed to continue their excellent work with young people. Mr Clarke, a true sportsman knows when to accept defeat and you should recognise defeat when it is staring you in the face. You CAN'T win this argument. Accept that the wrong action was taken and give the players their jobs back. It is the only right and honourable thing to do!
Well said, bballmom! I agree with you 100%. Like you, I have already invited Mr Clarke to my school to talk to my children and teachers, and explain his decision to sack these men. I issued my invitation to him last week and you won't be surprised to hear that he hasn't even replied. Perhaps that is because he knows he can't look these children in the face and adequately explain or justify his actions! Vid and Skouson and the other players are heroes to our children, all the more so now when they have shown how we should all respond to racism and bullying. They should be congratulated, reinstated and allowed to continue their excellent work with young people. Mr Clarke, a true sportsman knows when to accept defeat and you should recognise defeat when it is staring you in the face. You CAN'T win this argument. Accept that the wrong action was taken and give the players their jobs back. It is the only right and honourable thing to do! BBaynes

10:26am Thu 17 Dec 09

bballmom says...

Yes, Mr Clarke, it is at the stage where your honour is at stake. Can we not set up some sort of petition and present this to the BBL and the Club? Cane we contact all the schools the players coached at and take action and petitin for these treu sportsmen to be treated justly? My husband said this morning that is all his years of following sport, he has never been so saddened. He says he will never watch the Wolves again, which may be a bit harsh as the new coach deserves our support. But the club had our support and abused it with this appalling decision. So as a fan and parent, I am in the process of making a decision with regard to our support of the Worcester Wolves. Right now I feel exceptionally angry. The same date that the newspaper had the Wolves front page story in it featured a story with a picture of four St. George's pupils that poor Chey and Skouson coached. It has not been said yet, but Chey Christie is a brave, brave man and I applaud him and would like to say to him that my son thought the world of him. God bless you men and we are praying for you. We hope that you may find peace and some joy in this Holiday Season.
Yes, Mr Clarke, it is at the stage where your honour is at stake. Can we not set up some sort of petition and present this to the BBL and the Club? Cane we contact all the schools the players coached at and take action and petitin for these treu sportsmen to be treated justly? My husband said this morning that is all his years of following sport, he has never been so saddened. He says he will never watch the Wolves again, which may be a bit harsh as the new coach deserves our support. But the club had our support and abused it with this appalling decision. So as a fan and parent, I am in the process of making a decision with regard to our support of the Worcester Wolves. Right now I feel exceptionally angry. The same date that the newspaper had the Wolves front page story in it featured a story with a picture of four St. George's pupils that poor Chey and Skouson coached. It has not been said yet, but Chey Christie is a brave, brave man and I applaud him and would like to say to him that my son thought the world of him. God bless you men and we are praying for you. We hope that you may find peace and some joy in this Holiday Season. bballmom

11:01pm Thu 17 Dec 09

Hombre Libre says...

I missed this story when it was first published, but it explains the bizarre, out-of-the-blue and out of context club statement that (as a fan of the team) I received via email the day after publication. If the management’s intention was for the statement to paint them in a more favourable light than the sacked players – then their efforts were wasted on me. Two extracts (for anyone not on the email list).

“At no time has the Club condoned the use of racist language or behaviour and it will continue to treat any such incidents very seriously.”

“The disciplinary action taken against the players was the result of their unauthorised strike and refusal to play for the Club.”

Can someone please remind me - why exactly did the players strike……..? Was it for standing up to racism? Was it the same sort of racism that the club apparently stands up to or was it a different sort of racism? The statement has merely confused me. On one level it suggests that racism has no place in the club – but on another it suggests that players were wrong to stand up to racism. So can we have another statement please? But next time one that sounds a bit more convincing – maybe one that says “Actually we got this one wrong.”
I missed this story when it was first published, but it explains the bizarre, out-of-the-blue and out of context club statement that (as a fan of the team) I received via email the day after publication. If the management’s intention was for the statement to paint them in a more favourable light than the sacked players – then their efforts were wasted on me. Two extracts (for anyone not on the email list). “At no time has the Club condoned the use of racist language or behaviour and it will continue to treat any such incidents very seriously.” “The disciplinary action taken against the players was the result of their unauthorised strike and refusal to play for the Club.” Can someone please remind me - why exactly did the players strike……..? Was it for standing up to racism? Was it the same sort of racism that the club apparently stands up to or was it a different sort of racism? The statement has merely confused me. On one level it suggests that racism has no place in the club – but on another it suggests that players were wrong to stand up to racism. So can we have another statement please? But next time one that sounds a bit more convincing – maybe one that says “Actually we got this one wrong.” Hombre Libre

6:35pm Fri 18 Dec 09

AustinHealey says...

I have read all the posts above and I am saddened by some of them. If an incident of bullying or racism occurred in a school, I am sure that the educators who have commented above would have made sure that they had heard BOTH sides of the story; yet they seem to be happy to take the ‘notes’ of Mr Harker as the absolute truth.

There is another thread alongside this one entitled “How Is "Racist" Defined?” and I do not apologise for borrowing a couple of quotes from that.

Racism is an odd subject. For something to be racist - the definition adopted after the Stephen Lawrence enquiry is: "A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person". So, if Mr Harker deemed the comments to be ‘racist’, then they are. If someone else deemed them not to be racist, then they are not. That seems a little flaky, at best.

I would ask you to think about this ... consider a newspaper story that you knew the truth about; was the story in the paper the truth, or the paper's view of the truth, or the spin of the person who gave the story to the paper?

I went to the last few home games and anyone else who did could not help but notice the tension between Mr Harker & Mr Evans.

I find it hard to believe that the supposed notes in the paper as the absolute truth. I agree to some extent with the comments of 'varien' ... he seems to be talking a lot of sense.

These comments were allegedly made in a two hour game analysis session, unless someone had a voice recording device of some sort, how could they have got so many quotes in the colloquial English used? Unless someone was looking for 'ammunition', why would they have taken a voice recorder into to game analysis session?

I am sure there is another side to this story which, hopefully, will come out in the fullness of time.
I have read all the posts above and I am saddened by some of them. If an incident of bullying or racism occurred in a school, I am sure that the educators who have commented above would have made sure that they had heard BOTH sides of the story; yet they seem to be happy to take the ‘notes’ of Mr Harker as the absolute truth. There is another thread alongside this one entitled “How Is "Racist" Defined?” and I do not apologise for borrowing a couple of quotes from that. Racism is an odd subject. For something to be racist - the definition adopted after the Stephen Lawrence enquiry is: "A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person". So, if Mr Harker deemed the comments to be ‘racist’, then they are. If someone else deemed them not to be racist, then they are not. That seems a little flaky, at best. I would ask you to think about this ... consider a newspaper story that you knew the truth about; was the story in the paper the truth, or the paper's view of the truth, or the spin of the person who gave the story to the paper? I went to the last few home games and anyone else who did could not help but notice the tension between Mr Harker & Mr Evans. I find it hard to believe that the supposed notes in the paper as the absolute truth. I agree to some extent with the comments of 'varien' ... he seems to be talking a lot of sense. These comments were allegedly made in a two hour game analysis session, unless someone had a voice recording device of some sort, how could they have got so many quotes in the colloquial English used? Unless someone was looking for 'ammunition', why would they have taken a voice recorder into to game analysis session? I am sure there is another side to this story which, hopefully, will come out in the fullness of time. AustinHealey

7:03pm Fri 18 Dec 09

a.large says...

austinhealey obviously you did not read the posts correctly as you would of noticed that Mr Clark refuses to talk to the school and give his side of the story leaving no choice but to only hear one side of the story. Just to clarify who cares wether the talk was recorded, noted etc have you not taken notice that the coach admitted to all of the allegations so it can only be recognised as the coach being found abusive and racist ,does the fact that he resigned and left the country not tell you anything?
In stead of nit picking take on board the facts the coach was racist towards the players he got a slap on the wrist by management the players got sacked for setting a good example and now the management are acting more childish than my 2 year old by not realising they are wrong burrying their heads in the sand refusing to talk to anyone and put right their wrongs.
austinhealey obviously you did not read the posts correctly as you would of noticed that Mr Clark refuses to talk to the school and give his side of the story leaving no choice but to only hear one side of the story. Just to clarify who cares wether the talk was recorded, noted etc have you not taken notice that the coach admitted to all of the allegations so it can only be recognised as the coach being found abusive and racist ,does the fact that he resigned and left the country not tell you anything? In stead of nit picking take on board the facts the coach was racist towards the players he got a slap on the wrist by management the players got sacked for setting a good example and now the management are acting more childish than my 2 year old by not realising they are wrong burrying their heads in the sand refusing to talk to anyone and put right their wrongs. a.large

7:41pm Fri 18 Dec 09

varien says...

I fail to understand why people like a.large, ashton under hill have to fly into a rage and direct illogical rantings at the people who may not agree with their views.
I still maintain that there is something sinister behind this whole episode and, to put it bluntly, the whole thing stinks.
At the end of the day we have a situation where a coach was unhappy with his team's performance so he gave them a right rollicking. In circumstances such as this then things are going to be said where somebody is likely to get upset - so what.
If the coach said "nasty" things then why didn't any of the players stand up to him. I notice that the player's notes carefully quotes the dialogue made by the coach yet no real dialogue by any of the players has actually been noted - why not? Was the conversation of the two hour meeting all one-sided?
With regards being "sacked" for threatening to take immediate strike action then the management did the right thing. After all they were salaried players and as such were employees of Worcester Wolves. Therefore they have to adhere to the same rules and regulations as any other person who is employed and that certain formal procedures have to be carried out before employees can take strike action
Playing the race card cannot be used as an excuse to by-pass the formalities necessary before strike action.
I would dearly like to be a fly on the wall at some coach/player discussions of premier league football clubs - I bet they don't mince words.
I fail to understand why people like a.large, ashton under hill have to fly into a rage and direct illogical rantings at the people who may not agree with their views. I still maintain that there is something sinister behind this whole episode and, to put it bluntly, the whole thing stinks. At the end of the day we have a situation where a coach was unhappy with his team's performance so he gave them a right rollicking. In circumstances such as this then things are going to be said where somebody is likely to get upset - so what. If the coach said "nasty" things then why didn't any of the players stand up to him. I notice that the player's notes carefully quotes the dialogue made by the coach yet no real dialogue by any of the players has actually been noted - why not? Was the conversation of the two hour meeting all one-sided? With regards being "sacked" for threatening to take immediate strike action then the management did the right thing. After all they were salaried players and as such were employees of Worcester Wolves. Therefore they have to adhere to the same rules and regulations as any other person who is employed and that certain formal procedures have to be carried out before employees can take strike action Playing the race card cannot be used as an excuse to by-pass the formalities necessary before strike action. I would dearly like to be a fly on the wall at some coach/player discussions of premier league football clubs - I bet they don't mince words. varien

7:55pm Fri 18 Dec 09

a.large says...

i can assure you i was hardly in a rage!! Just my opinion, you are entitled to yours like anyone else and it's not as if i was rude or personal, you may think my comments are " illogical" but to be honest i don't care what you think as my concerns are to the sacked players not your pettyness
i can assure you i was hardly in a rage!! Just my opinion, you are entitled to yours like anyone else and it's not as if i was rude or personal, you may think my comments are " illogical" but to be honest i don't care what you think as my concerns are to the sacked players not your pettyness a.large

8:05pm Fri 18 Dec 09

bballmom says...

Varien, I envite you to come to St. Georges and explain the situations that you descirbe in which we should allow racist attacks? And that they are allowed only if they are not recorded! What a laugh!
It is good to see that some people out there are supporting the managment albeit not so impressive as after 30 or so comments I am sure management has taken it upon themselves to do some 'damage control.' I would too if I were them! Because their credibility is a laughing stock in my household. But like a.large says who cares if it were recorded? Good on them to catcht the coward in the act! These days mobiles have high tech recording devices, and maybe one of the lads switched it on as soon as they realised the type of "nasty" things he was saying. I watched nearly everygame and this tension was non-existent, but I am sure management would know if there was tension between the two, and are you saying that tension between a player and a coach is an EXCUSE FOR RACISM? Varien, don't you have some admin to do for the club to ensure that some of these new players can play in 2010. Please leave this issue for us in the real world, where tension does not excuse racist abuse!!! If I were the coach I think I would have mentioned something by now if it were substantial, but I suppose Mr Evans was smart enough to realise that there is "No Excuse for Racism" so he took the first flight back to the USA! When comments are made in the Prem like this, the player or coach involved is sent packing faster then you can say "boo"
Varien, I envite you to come to St. Georges and explain the situations that you descirbe in which we should allow racist attacks? And that they are allowed only if they are not recorded! What a laugh! It is good to see that some people out there are supporting the managment albeit not so impressive as after 30 or so comments I am sure management has taken it upon themselves to do some 'damage control.' I would too if I were them! Because their credibility is a laughing stock in my household. But like a.large says who cares if it were recorded? Good on them to catcht the coward in the act! These days mobiles have high tech recording devices, and maybe one of the lads switched it on as soon as they realised the type of "nasty" things he was saying. I watched nearly everygame and this tension was non-existent, but I am sure management would know if there was tension between the two, and are you saying that tension between a player and a coach is an EXCUSE FOR RACISM? Varien, don't you have some admin to do for the club to ensure that some of these new players can play in 2010. Please leave this issue for us in the real world, where tension does not excuse racist abuse!!! If I were the coach I think I would have mentioned something by now if it were substantial, but I suppose Mr Evans was smart enough to realise that there is "No Excuse for Racism" so he took the first flight back to the USA! When comments are made in the Prem like this, the player or coach involved is sent packing faster then you can say "boo" bballmom

8:37pm Fri 18 Dec 09

Hombre Libre says...

OK – I have been thinking through the side of this debate that implies that the Worcester News may have colluded (albeit unwittingly) with a conspiracy of five players to oust the coach. In this alternative scenario, it seems that five white players may have ganged up on a black coach, impugning his reputation by falsely outing him a racist bully. The management has apparently bought into this strategy and as one of the outcomes forced his resignation. If I follow this line to its logical conclusion, the coach is the victim (as opposed to the players). Does that make it any better? Why did management not support him if he was the victim rather than the perpetrator?

Maybe we will never be told the complete truth. Maybe the behaviour (and performance) of the players and of the coach were not of a high enough standard for their positions to be maintained and so the management used the player/coach row (whether it was simply “plain speaking” or actually was a torrent of racial abuse) as an opportunity to shed some players and the coach. I am a bit old fashioned though and have a preference for transparency. There seems to be precious little of that in this sorry episode.

I suspect the management are fearful of legal action – and so that's why they are staying quiet (or issuing statements intended to clarify the situation but which merely raise more questions than they answer). I strongly suspect they are monitoring the “2 sisters” case in Birmingham where staff at a poultry processing plant were sacked earlier this year after downing tools over racist behaviour and which they felt the management did not take seriously. Maybe that’s where the Worcester Wolves management are getting their tactics from.

From the Birmingham Mail - “The firm said its own investigations had found no evidence for racial abuse and has repeatedly asserted that Unite’s claim that the workers were sacked for challenging racism in the workplace is false, saying the workers were instead dismissed for their involvement in unconstitutional strike action.” Sounds very familiar…….

There have been some amazing high points over the years – cheering the guys as they lifted the (EBL) trophy at the Sky Dome Arena in Coventry and not being able to speak for three days because I was so hoarse from all the shouting. There have been lows too, games that looked to be walk-overs that I have watched in horror as they were lost in the third quarter. But this is something entirely different.
OK – I have been thinking through the side of this debate that implies that the Worcester News may have colluded (albeit unwittingly) with a conspiracy of five players to oust the coach. In this alternative scenario, it seems that five white players may have ganged up on a black coach, impugning his reputation by falsely outing him a racist bully. The management has apparently bought into this strategy and as one of the outcomes forced his resignation. If I follow this line to its logical conclusion, the coach is the victim (as opposed to the players). Does that make it any better? Why did management not support him if he was the victim rather than the perpetrator? Maybe we will never be told the complete truth. Maybe the behaviour (and performance) of the players and of the coach were not of a high enough standard for their positions to be maintained and so the management used the player/coach row (whether it was simply “plain speaking” or actually was a torrent of racial abuse) as an opportunity to shed some players and the coach. I am a bit old fashioned though and have a preference for transparency. There seems to be precious little of that in this sorry episode. I suspect the management are fearful of legal action – and so that's why they are staying quiet (or issuing statements intended to clarify the situation but which merely raise more questions than they answer). I strongly suspect they are monitoring the “2 sisters” case in Birmingham where staff at a poultry processing plant were sacked earlier this year after downing tools over racist behaviour and which they felt the management did not take seriously. Maybe that’s where the Worcester Wolves management are getting their tactics from. From the Birmingham Mail - “The firm said its own investigations had found no evidence for racial abuse and has repeatedly asserted that Unite’s claim that the workers were sacked for challenging racism in the workplace is false, saying the workers were instead dismissed for their involvement in unconstitutional strike action.” Sounds very familiar……. There have been some amazing high points over the years – cheering the guys as they lifted the (EBL) trophy at the Sky Dome Arena in Coventry and not being able to speak for three days because I was so hoarse from all the shouting. There have been lows too, games that looked to be walk-overs that I have watched in horror as they were lost in the third quarter. But this is something entirely different. Hombre Libre

9:25pm Fri 18 Dec 09

bballmom says...

Read the story and do some research. Chey and Randy are of African desent. Evaldas was the top scorer on the team, Skouson the 3rd top scorer and Vid the 4th. Your theory about 5 white players removing a black coach is fading fast. You trying to play the race car for Mr Evans is shameful!
Read the story and do some research. Chey and Randy are of African desent. Evaldas was the top scorer on the team, Skouson the 3rd top scorer and Vid the 4th. Your theory about 5 white players removing a black coach is fading fast. You trying to play the race car for Mr Evans is shameful! bballmom

11:20pm Fri 18 Dec 09

BBaynes says...

I think we are losing the focus here. It is laughable to suggest there is collusion between the newspaper and the players to oust anyone. Surely the newspaper is far to busy to be involved in such nonsense. Further, I know at least two of these players (Vid and Skousan) well enough to know that they are men of great integrity and, as such, would never involve themselves in any conspiracy.

Let's go back to what is at the heart of this entire issue. Six excellent and honourable young men have lost their jobs and (possibly) future prospects for standing up to a racist bully. Mr Clarke, the manager of the team is hiding behind the boardroom door (or sunning himself abroad?) and hoping that the furore will soon die down and be forgotten. Can we let that happen? NO!

If you look elsewhere on this site, you will see that all of my pupils have written letters to Mr Clarke, expressing their unhappiness with this situation and urging him to reconsider. I shall be posting those letters on Monday. However, here in this public forum, I would ask Mr Clarke to (at the very least) meet with some of us to discuss this and answer our questions and accept these letters in person. Come on, Mr Clarke. If you are so sure of the rightness of your decision then what is to be lost from meeting with some of us? You name the time and place and we'll be there!

Just a few quotes from the letters written by my pupils:

"Just because they lost their match and are a different colour does not mean you can make racist comments." (Callum)
"I think it is wrong that you sacked Vid and the other men because they were standing up to bullys. I think you have been a bully to them because it is wrong to say I don't like you because you have white skin." (Ehlana)
"Standing up to bullies is right so I think you should let Vid go back to basketball." (Mollie)
"Vid was a very good coach and was strict but that's good because it helps you learn." (Bradley)
"I am very angry and sad. It is not a very good example to a 10 year old what you have done. Just a few weeks ago I could not wait for thursday and now I do not want to hear about basketball. I threw my basketball into the garden...It does not matter if you are black or white or where you come from...all that matters is that you are a good sportsman." (Carmella)
"I am very unhappy that you sacked Vid. In our school we're taught to stand up to bullies and that's what they did but instead of helping them you sacked them...Basketball is just and game and you and Mr Evans made a big deal over it." (Ella)
"Just because they're from a different country they don't deserve to be insulted. I know it was wrong that they went on strike. But you don't solve disputes by sacking some of your players." (Thomas)
"It is not a very good example to little children (like me) to be racist. The team never did anything wrong and you don't judge people by the colour of their skin." (Louisa)

Quite honestly, I couldn't say it better myself and I am so proud of my pupils for these letters! If you won't listen to me, Mr Clarke, perhaps you will listen to these young people who seem to have the wisdom and judgement so sorely lacking in your own boardroom! Meet with us...or are you too afraid that you won't be able to answer our questions?????
I think we are losing the focus here. It is laughable to suggest there is collusion between the newspaper and the players to oust anyone. Surely the newspaper is far to busy to be involved in such nonsense. Further, I know at least two of these players (Vid and Skousan) well enough to know that they are men of great integrity and, as such, would never involve themselves in any conspiracy. Let's go back to what is at the heart of this entire issue. Six excellent and honourable young men have lost their jobs and (possibly) future prospects for standing up to a racist bully. Mr Clarke, the manager of the team is hiding behind the boardroom door (or sunning himself abroad?) and hoping that the furore will soon die down and be forgotten. Can we let that happen? NO! If you look elsewhere on this site, you will see that all of my pupils have written letters to Mr Clarke, expressing their unhappiness with this situation and urging him to reconsider. I shall be posting those letters on Monday. However, here in this public forum, I would ask Mr Clarke to (at the very least) meet with some of us to discuss this and answer our questions and accept these letters in person. Come on, Mr Clarke. If you are so sure of the rightness of your decision then what is to be lost from meeting with some of us? You name the time and place and we'll be there! Just a few quotes from the letters written by my pupils: "Just because they lost their match and are a different colour does not mean you can make racist comments." (Callum) "I think it is wrong that you sacked Vid and the other men because they were standing up to bullys. I think you have been a bully to them because it is wrong to say I don't like you because you have white skin." (Ehlana) "Standing up to bullies is right so I think you should let Vid go back to basketball." (Mollie) "Vid was a very good coach and was strict but that's good because it helps you learn." (Bradley) "I am very angry and sad. It is not a very good example to a 10 year old what you have done. Just a few weeks ago I could not wait for thursday and now I do not want to hear about basketball. I threw my basketball into the garden...It does not matter if you are black or white or where you come from...all that matters is that you are a good sportsman." (Carmella) "I am very unhappy that you sacked Vid. In our school we're taught to stand up to bullies and that's what they did but instead of helping them you sacked them...Basketball is just and game and you and Mr Evans made a big deal over it." (Ella) "Just because they're from a different country they don't deserve to be insulted. I know it was wrong that they went on strike. But you don't solve disputes by sacking some of your players." (Thomas) "It is not a very good example to little children (like me) to be racist. The team never did anything wrong and you don't judge people by the colour of their skin." (Louisa) Quite honestly, I couldn't say it better myself and I am so proud of my pupils for these letters! If you won't listen to me, Mr Clarke, perhaps you will listen to these young people who seem to have the wisdom and judgement so sorely lacking in your own boardroom! Meet with us...or are you too afraid that you won't be able to answer our questions????? BBaynes

11:16pm Sat 19 Dec 09

invisible1 says...

So true - out of the mouths of children. Mr Clarke needs to start answering these questions not giving us the boardroom answers. We are talking about peoples lives here - their dream. I understand it that most of these players have had their licenses removed and can not even play for the University of Worcester??? How can you stand with your head high and tell us that this is right? If the information is true that they went on strike on the Thursday and were sacked on the Friday morning then you should look deep into your soul - this is WRONG - isn't the procedure 24hrs written notice of a hearing - I bet they were not given the option of bringing an independent witness - these players are from different countries - did they understand FULLY the implications of their SO CALLED actions??????? I think you aught to look at who else is the bully and the racist in this case. Racism and bullying is WRONG - answer the childrens questions and do what is RIGHT.
So true - out of the mouths of children. Mr Clarke needs to start answering these questions not giving us the boardroom answers. We are talking about peoples lives here - their dream. I understand it that most of these players have had their licenses removed and can not even play for the University of Worcester??? How can you stand with your head high and tell us that this is right? If the information is true that they went on strike on the Thursday and were sacked on the Friday morning then you should look deep into your soul - this is WRONG - isn't the procedure 24hrs written notice of a hearing - I bet they were not given the option of bringing an independent witness - these players are from different countries - did they understand FULLY the implications of their SO CALLED actions??????? I think you aught to look at who else is the bully and the racist in this case. Racism and bullying is WRONG - answer the childrens questions and do what is RIGHT. invisible1

11:47am Sun 20 Dec 09

varien says...

Tell me bballmum where it was that I said we should allow racist attacks.
Also what is this remark about me doing admin for the club? I don't understand what on earth you are talking about.
Tell me bballmum where it was that I said we should allow racist attacks. Also what is this remark about me doing admin for the club? I don't understand what on earth you are talking about. varien

11:56am Sun 20 Dec 09

varien says...

After posting my last comment I went back and read the player's notes - yet again. One thing that strikes me is exactly "where are the remarks deemed as racial"?
Just where is the dividing line between expressing an opinion and beieng outright racial?
If anyone wants to encounter real racism then I suggest they visit some parts of India and Nigeria.
After posting my last comment I went back and read the player's notes - yet again. One thing that strikes me is exactly "where are the remarks deemed as racial"? Just where is the dividing line between expressing an opinion and beieng outright racial? If anyone wants to encounter real racism then I suggest they visit some parts of India and Nigeria. varien

12:38pm Sun 20 Dec 09

Hombre Libre says...

You cannot find any comments in the notes that are racially offensive? Are you being serious or simply being ironic? Did you miss the one or two suggestions that the reason for poor play (or lack of toughness) of some of the players was due to the colour of their skin? Ron Atkinson was rightly sacked as a commentator with ITVfor suggesting that Marcel Dessaily’s poor play in a match was due to laziness and stupidity, implying that this was an inherent characteristic of his colour. Some argued that Ron Atkinson was treated badly, and that of all managers, he had done more than most to give opportunities to black players. But that was missing the point. It was and remians wholly inappropriate (and totally inaccurate) to put ability and performance down to racial characteristics. Admittedly Coach Evans did not use derogatory terminology as Ron Atkison did – but that does not mean that his comments were not racist in nature. There can be no doubt that the comments (as reported were racist and caused offence). Some still argue that there is doubt as to the truthfulness of the reporting of those comments (but they seem to be in the monority). Clearly searching questions still remain. Management might wish for “business as usual” but until adequate answers are given, I cannot see business as usual happening any time soon.
You cannot find any comments in the notes that are racially offensive? Are you being serious or simply being ironic? Did you miss the one or two suggestions that the reason for poor play (or lack of toughness) of some of the players was due to the colour of their skin? Ron Atkinson was rightly sacked as a commentator with ITVfor suggesting that Marcel Dessaily’s poor play in a match was due to laziness and stupidity, implying that this was an inherent characteristic of his colour. Some argued that Ron Atkinson was treated badly, and that of all managers, he had done more than most to give opportunities to black players. But that was missing the point. It was and remians wholly inappropriate (and totally inaccurate) to put ability and performance down to racial characteristics. Admittedly Coach Evans did not use derogatory terminology as Ron Atkison did – but that does not mean that his comments were not racist in nature. There can be no doubt that the comments (as reported were racist and caused offence). Some still argue that there is doubt as to the truthfulness of the reporting of those comments (but they seem to be in the monority). Clearly searching questions still remain. Management might wish for “business as usual” but until adequate answers are given, I cannot see business as usual happening any time soon. Hombre Libre

10:13am Mon 21 Dec 09

AustinHealey says...

OK … I’ve done a bit of research on the internet, so let’s look at what we know and what we have been told …

In late 2007 Mr Harker joined the Wolves as a player coach. He recruited, among others, Chuck Evans who led the team from the point guard position. That was a reasonably successful season for the Wolves, after a poor start.

2008-09 was not such a successful season and, at the end of it, Mr Harker agreed to stand down as coach and continue as a player. We don’t know how readily he agreed to this, only he could tell us that.

At the beginning of the current season Chuck Evans was appointed head coach and would have Mr Harker playing for him, so the roles were reversed. Again, we do not know how Mr Harker felt about this.

Chuck Evans’ coaching style appears to have been a bit different … from a number of articles that he gave to the paper; he seemed to focussing somewhat on the negative aspects of the Wolves play, rather than the positive. It could be said that this reached a peak after the home win against the then second in the league Milton Keynes Lions when he praised the ‘Master Class’ give by the Lions’ point guard EJ Harrison, rather than the match winning performance of his own young star Evaldas Zabas. We do not know how Evaldas and his team mates felt about this, but I would imagine that they were not very impressed.

A week later the Wolves were tying 50 points all at half time with Cheshire Jets and went on to lose by 80-96. At the post match analysis session (which we can only guess was held on the Monday) comments were made by the coach that precipitated the current situation. The Club management tell us that they disciplined Mr. Evans for his comments. The players went on strike as (we can only assume that) they did not wish to play for this coach any more. We have to have sympathy for that view. We do not know the exact details of the how the strike action came about.

Under British employment law it is necessary to give a period of notice before taking actual strike action so the strike was. The Club management would (should) have gone through a process of giving warnings (including a formal verbal and a formal written warning) to the players that their action was illegal and that they were in breach of contract and giving them adequate opportunity to change their position. If the players did not suspend the strike after these warnings they were in breach of contract so the Club could rightly cancel those contracts and sack them. We were told on the Friday that the players had had their contracts terminated, so we can only assume that the Club management went through the appropriate process and that the players had time to re-consider their action. We don’t know why they chose not to. We were also told that coach Evans resigned; we don’t know whether this was before or after the players were sacked.

So there are indeed unanswered questions … but not all, it seems, at the door of Mr Clarke.
OK … I’ve done a bit of research on the internet, so let’s look at what we know and what we have been told … In late 2007 Mr Harker joined the Wolves as a player coach. He recruited, among others, Chuck Evans who led the team from the point guard position. That was a reasonably successful season for the Wolves, after a poor start. 2008-09 was not such a successful season and, at the end of it, Mr Harker agreed to stand down as coach and continue as a player. We don’t know how readily he agreed to this, only he could tell us that. At the beginning of the current season Chuck Evans was appointed head coach and would have Mr Harker playing for him, so the roles were reversed. Again, we do not know how Mr Harker felt about this. Chuck Evans’ coaching style appears to have been a bit different … from a number of articles that he gave to the paper; he seemed to focussing somewhat on the negative aspects of the Wolves play, rather than the positive. It could be said that this reached a peak after the home win against the then second in the league Milton Keynes Lions when he praised the ‘Master Class’ give by the Lions’ point guard EJ Harrison, rather than the match winning performance of his own young star Evaldas Zabas. We do not know how Evaldas and his team mates felt about this, but I would imagine that they were not very impressed. A week later the Wolves were tying 50 points all at half time with Cheshire Jets and went on to lose by 80-96. At the post match analysis session (which we can only guess was held on the Monday) comments were made by the coach that precipitated the current situation. The Club management tell us that they disciplined Mr. Evans for his comments. The players went on strike as (we can only assume that) they did not wish to play for this coach any more. We have to have sympathy for that view. We do not know the exact details of the how the strike action came about. Under British employment law it is necessary to give a period of notice before taking actual strike action so the strike was. The Club management would (should) have gone through a process of giving warnings (including a formal verbal and a formal written warning) to the players that their action was illegal and that they were in breach of contract and giving them adequate opportunity to change their position. If the players did not suspend the strike after these warnings they were in breach of contract so the Club could rightly cancel those contracts and sack them. We were told on the Friday that the players had had their contracts terminated, so we can only assume that the Club management went through the appropriate process and that the players had time to re-consider their action. We don’t know why they chose not to. We were also told that coach Evans resigned; we don’t know whether this was before or after the players were sacked. So there are indeed unanswered questions … but not all, it seems, at the door of Mr Clarke. AustinHealey

11:31am Mon 21 Dec 09

blurtyblogs says...

Succinct facts, well put, AustinHealy. But .... we are getting away (again!) from the real issues here, the broader picture and implications.
Racism, of ANY kind, is wrong, wherever it occurs and under ANY circumstances. These sacked players were the victims of racism and chose to do the only DECENT thing and refuse to work for this racist bully.
In ALL schools the message to pupils is very clear - race, creed or colour makes no difference to who you can be and what you can acheive.
These players work with children of all ages throughout the county, reinforcing this very message by their willingness to include every child in their activities, REGARDLESS of race, creed or ability.
The most unbelievable thing about this whole, sorry incident is the complete lack of any response to the head teachers demands for explanations for their children to understand - not surprising really, as there is none!
If this incident had happened in Premier League Football, the media would have had a field day! As it is, it may go mainly unnoticed without anyone really doing what is right and re-instating these lovely players.
If any of these players go back to their home countries with a sorry view of life in Britain, then we know who to blame!
Succinct facts, well put, AustinHealy. But .... we are getting away (again!) from the real issues here, the broader picture and implications. Racism, of ANY kind, is wrong, wherever it occurs and under ANY circumstances. These sacked players were the victims of racism and chose to do the only DECENT thing and refuse to work for this racist bully. In ALL schools the message to pupils is very clear - race, creed or colour makes no difference to who you can be and what you can acheive. These players work with children of all ages throughout the county, reinforcing this very message by their willingness to include every child in their activities, REGARDLESS of race, creed or ability. The most unbelievable thing about this whole, sorry incident is the complete lack of any response to the head teachers demands for explanations for their children to understand - not surprising really, as there is none! If this incident had happened in Premier League Football, the media would have had a field day! As it is, it may go mainly unnoticed without anyone really doing what is right and re-instating these lovely players. If any of these players go back to their home countries with a sorry view of life in Britain, then we know who to blame! blurtyblogs

12:01pm Mon 21 Dec 09

AustinHealey says...

Fair points, blurtyblogs, but if the boot were on the other foot and one of the headteachers had had to dismiss a teacher (say, entirely hypothetically, one who the Wolves club & players had been dealing with in organising and running the very training sessions you mention), would that headteacher not consider the full detasil of that reasoning to be confidential and quite possibly refuse to reveal those details to the Wolves management? I think not.
The players were dismissed for taking illegal strike action ... fact. Given the time period that elapsed between the post match meeting and the sacjkings, we can only assume that they were told that they would be dismissed if they did not suspend their strike action. I am in no way saying that the REASON for the strike was not entirely valid but that the ACTION of striking was an error by the players and the refusal to suspend that strike after (presumably) the appropriate warnings was another error.
As to re-instatement, Evaldas Zabas has already signed for Worthing and scored 20 points in his debut for them at the weekend. Randy George is due to sign for Essex Pirates, I believe. Not sure about Nerijus and Chey. Harker is still employed by the University. I heard somewhere that Vidmanats was studying at the University, so he may still be there too.
Fair points, blurtyblogs, but if the boot were on the other foot and one of the headteachers had had to dismiss a teacher (say, entirely hypothetically, one who the Wolves club & players had been dealing with in organising and running the very training sessions you mention), would that headteacher not consider the full detasil of that reasoning to be confidential and quite possibly refuse to reveal those details to the Wolves management? I think not. The players were dismissed for taking illegal strike action ... fact. Given the time period that elapsed between the post match meeting and the sacjkings, we can only assume that they were told that they would be dismissed if they did not suspend their strike action. I am in no way saying that the REASON for the strike was not entirely valid but that the ACTION of striking was an error by the players and the refusal to suspend that strike after (presumably) the appropriate warnings was another error. As to re-instatement, Evaldas Zabas has already signed for Worthing and scored 20 points in his debut for them at the weekend. Randy George is due to sign for Essex Pirates, I believe. Not sure about Nerijus and Chey. Harker is still employed by the University. I heard somewhere that Vidmanats was studying at the University, so he may still be there too. AustinHealey

12:09pm Mon 21 Dec 09

blurtyblogs says...

I think we are all guessing at the real process of events. Until we know for sure that these players were given all the neccessary information to make the 'illegal' decison to strike, we can only assume. Would be nice to be told!
I'm glad that some of these players have found other contracts. I hope the others do too, Vid was a true role model for our children.
Wolves loss is someone else's gain!
I think we are all guessing at the real process of events. Until we know for sure that these players were given all the neccessary information to make the 'illegal' decison to strike, we can only assume. Would be nice to be told! I'm glad that some of these players have found other contracts. I hope the others do too, Vid was a true role model for our children. Wolves loss is someone else's gain! blurtyblogs

8:36pm Mon 21 Dec 09

bballmom says...

I have done some research as well and with the Race Relations Act of 1976, the players acted according to their human rights. The club 'Victimised' the players, and gave them the termination letter and waring letter simultaneously. That my friend is not exactly negotiation. That is called victimisation...fact
!
I have done some research as well and with the Race Relations Act of 1976, the players acted according to their human rights. The club 'Victimised' the players, and gave them the termination letter and waring letter simultaneously. That my friend is not exactly negotiation. That is called victimisation...fact ! bballmom
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