Why ISU Head Coach’s Response to Racism Keeps Racism Alive

The head coach of the Illinois State men’s basketball team, Ryan Pedon, recently got into an altercation with Norfolk State head coach Robert Jones during a home game on Saturday. Norfolk State guard Jamarii Thomas responded to a comment from a fan, and ESPN+ broadcasters later stated that comments of a “racial nature” had been made by Illinois State fans. This led to a confrontation between the two coaches, resulting in both receiving technical fouls.

In the postgame press conference, Pedon acknowledged that his temper got the best of him and his reaction had little to do with the opposing head coach. He failed to acknowledge the severity of Jones’ allegations. However, Pedon later issued an apology, admitting that he should have reacted differently and paid attention to what Jones was saying.

During their altercation, Pedon reportedly said, “I don’t care,” when Jones tried to explain that he heard one of his players was called a racial slur. This incident highlights the frustration experienced when addressing racism. The Illinois State athletic department has since apologized and announced an investigation into the incident.

Overall, the incident serves as a reminder of the pervasive nature of racism and the ongoing need to address it.