Arkansas College Discovers No Evidence Regarding Discrimination Based on Dreadlocks

An investigation discovered no evidence in terms of alleged discrimination of a black basketball player based on his dreadlocks on the part of a white chief coach, according to the University of Arkansas based in Fort Smith.

As claimed by Tyler Williams, Coach Jim Boone discharged him from the team because of his hair. Last week, Boone’s attorney, disclaimed the allegations.

An internal investigation done by the University did not discover any material evidence to support Williams’ claims, according to Chancellor Terisa Riley, who sent an email to students, faculty, and staff on Wednesday.

Last month, Boone mentioned that he would most likely not recruit a student sporting the same hairstyle as Williams.

Boone explained his statement by saying that his program implies certain expectations and that he does not intend to lower them, although the team may belong to the players. He said that everyone was entitled to a choice and that no one should even consider being a part of the team if the requirements do not suit them.

According to 22-year-old Williams of Oklahoma, Coach Boone never requested that he restyle his hair, but he made him feel disrespected and devalued nonetheless.

Last week, Williams elaborated on his statement by saying that even though Boone claimed his attitude towards him did not have anything to do with race, in reality, should one reflect on it, one would understand that race was, in fact, the reason.

The investigation failed to determine whether Williams was discharged or quit on his own, according to the University representative, Rachel Putman. Williams currently attends the Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma.

According to Riley, the school’s plans involved a director of inclusion and campus diversity, as well as the establishment of a diversity committee.

As stated by Riley, she herself will make sure that the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Department of Athletics does not allow or excuse a procedure, policy, or practice, whether in verbal or written form, that dictates hair length or hairstyles of its student athletes.   

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