Avery Johnson decries expelled student Harley Barber's 'vile, abhorrent' racist video
The racist videos from now-expelled Alabama student Harley Barber continued to draw responses from the school’s athletes and coaches.
Before beating Auburn, Crimson Tide basketball star Braxton Key tweeted a message of support for minority groups on campus. It drew a “good job,” and thumbs up from athletics director Greg Byrne.
Then after the 76-71 rivalry win, Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson addressed the situation unprompted by reporters at the end of his news conference.
“There was an unfortunate video, are you guys familiar with the vile, abhorrent that was released on yesterday or the day before, whatever. Obviously, I stand with the university. We don’t condone that kind of behavior. It’s very unfortunate. I know the university is going to deal with it.”
The uproar began Tuesday when a video went viral of Barber spewing racist thoughts, using the n-word repeatedly. The university said it was investigating the incidents and Wednesday the student said she had been expelled while apologizing for the hate-filled remarks.
“We have a lot of people in our organization, in our basketball operation and our team that are from a lot of different backgrounds,” Johnson continued Wednesday night. “Everybody doesn’t look like me, but we accept everybody. Wherever they’re from. Whatever their skin color is. We accept everybody.
“This university has taken a strong stand on diversity and inclusion and I stand with Dr. (Stuart) Bell and I stand with Greg Byrne with promoting an atmosphere of inclusion and we have some terrific players on our team from great families, whether it’s single parent or two parents, it doesn’t matter. So, I was really disturbed by that video and I thought you guys needed to know about that.”
In the tweet earlier Wednesday, Key said he was speaking on behalf of the Alabama basketball team.
“We will continue to use our platform to lift others up and be advocates for people who may feel like they don’t have a voice,” he wrote. “Roll Tide!”
Alabama running back Damien Harris and former defensive back Landon Collins were among the other athletes to make statements condemning Barber’s videos.
Michael Casagrande is an Alabama beat writer for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande.