A cheerleading coach at Ottawa University, a Christian institution with a campus in Kansas, resigned after being accused of making racist statements about a Black cheerleader’s hair, The Kansas City Star reported.
The cheerleader, Talyn Jefferson, said she refused to remove a hair bonnet during practice because she worried her long braids would hit a teammate in the face. She said she was kicked out of practice and off the team. A tweet posted by a friend of Jefferson’s says she was told her braids “are a hindrance to my performance and they are not collegiate and I never should have gotten them in the first place.”
The coach, Casey Jamerson, has denied allegations. She filed a police report Jan. 22 saying she was being harassed by people making crude, abusive or threatening comments.
Jamerson said in a statement that her continuing to coach the team would likely be “a distraction” and said she hoped the team “will continue to grow and flourish” without her.
A university investigation into the allegations found no policy violations occurred. Reggies Wenyika, the president of Ottawa’s Kansas campus, described Jamerson’s resignation as “a loss to our community.”