Petition wants Tracy Claeys to be removed as head coach at Minnesota
With the boycott over and the winds about Minnesota’s off-the-field action beginning to die down, the focus for the Gophers has primarily been on Washington State and the Holiday Bowl.
But not everyone is taking a public statement from Tracy Claeys’ Twitter account and pushing aside.
On MoveOn.org, a petition exists for the removal as Claeys as Minnesota’s head football coach after a tweet he sent in regards to his players boycotting the Holiday Bowl. The reason for the boycott was due to 10 players being suspended – some facing expulsion – stemming from a sexual assault allegation that occurred in September.
Here was the tweet from Claeys after his team launched its boycott:
Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world! 〽️????
— GoldenGopherHFC (@GoldenGopherHFC) December 16, 2016
The petition cites the tweet as the issue, claiming that the head coach “failed to mention or acknowledge the importance of respecting women.”
Here is an excerpt from the petition:
As strong believers in the importance of leadership, justice, opportunity and respect, we urge the President of the University of Minnesota, Eric W. Kaler, and the University of Minnesota Athletics Department to terminate its head football coach, Tracy Claeys.
In response to the Sept. 2 allegations against U of M football players and a players’ boycott of practice and participation in the Holiday Bowl, Claeys tweeted on December 15: “Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world!”
Claeys’ tweet expressing his pride in the team failed to mention or acknowledge the importance of respecting women. Further, it did not condemn violence, sexual assault or disrespect of women. We feel this is not at all acceptable.
As of 8 p.m. on Monday, the petition had over 600 signatures.
Claeys is currently in contract negotiations with Mark Coyle, the University’s athletic director. He is currently under contract for the next two seasons but has a minimal, $500,000 buyout.
Minnesota will play Washington State in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.