High School Football Coach Resigns After Using Racial Slur in an Instagram Video

For the first time in more than a month, a North Carolina high school football team had tasted victory, outlasting a conference rival on the road by a point in overtime.

But since the game last Friday, people haven’t been talking so much about the final score. They have been talking about an Instagram video posted the next night by an assistant coach, who used a racial slur to refer to the players on the team — many of whom are black — while he was out at a bar celebrating the win.

In the video, the coach, John Hoskins, shouts, “White power, Knightdale. I still love you,” using the epithet.

He later deleted the Instagram story, but it was too late — someone had already shared it with officials at the public school where he worked, Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design near Raleigh, N.C.

By Sunday, Mr. Hoskins had resigned, according to school administrators, who condemned his language.

“I was made aware of a disturbing video showing an assistant coach on our football team making racist comments at a local establishment on Saturday night,” Keith Richardson, the Knightdale principal, said in a letter posted on the school’s website on Tuesday. “While he was not a teacher or full-time staff member at our school, I was greatly dismayed and disappointed to see this type of behavior and mindset from someone in a position of trust.”

Mr. Richardson said the school’s coaches were supposed to be role models and maintain the utmost integrity.

“When a staff member breaks that trust, it is deeply upsetting,” Mr. Richardson said. “Furthermore, using the language of white supremacy stirs up feelings of fear, intimidation and threats of racial violence.”

Mr. Hoskins, 32, did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment on Thursday, but told ABC 11 of Raleigh that he was not a racist.

“Fifteen seconds of fame in the wrong way,” Mr. Hoskins told the TV station. “I’ve ruined the last 12 years of my career.”

Mr. Hoskins said he got caught up in the celebratory moment with his friends, who are black and white. Instagram story posts typically disappear after 24 hours.

He said he had used the slur in the past among his black friends and players.

“They joke around,” he said. “We joke around. They walk up to me and say it — ‘Hey coach, just say it. You’re a good coach. Just say it.’”

“Once in a while, it slips. Once a year, it slips. To have them smile and laugh,” he continued. “Besides that, I mean nothing from it.”

Mr. Hoskins showed the television station the brief resignation letter that he sent to the school, adding that he did not want to be a distraction.

The vast majority of students at Knightdale High School are black (44 percent) or Hispanic (31 percent), according to the Wake County Public School System, and 17 percent of students are white.

Cathy Moore, the superintendent of the school system, was not available Thursday for comment. A school district spokesman referred to comments she made to ABC 11 saying that Mr. Hoskins’s language was unacceptable and that as an adult, he should know better.

Mr. Richardson, the school’s principal, said in his letter that the football team was notified about the episode on Monday and that counselors would be available to speak to players about their emotions and reactions.

“This incident reminds us that we must remain vigilant and not hesitate to do everything in our power to drive out racism in our midst,” Mr. Richardson said. “With all of this in mind, I ask for your help.”