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Michael Grover says he was fired from St. Paul baseball coaching job because he's not Asian

Grover said Johnson's AD told him he wants an Asian coach.
Grover said Johnson's AD told him he wants an Asian coach.

Michael Grover had a rough season last year as head coach of the freshman baseball team at St. Paul's Johnson Senior High -- his team lost all but two games.

In fairness, it's tough to field a good baseball team at Johnson. 80 percent of the school's students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced lunches, and many bounce from one guardian's house to the next, making it difficult to commit to school sports.

Still, getting the axe after a 2-win season is understandable. But being told part of the reason for your firing is because you're white, and the school wants to recruit more Asian players? That's just not cool.

Grover took to Facebook and published a now-deleted post expressing outrage about athletics director Jeff Plaschko's alleged racist rationale for his dismissal.

Said Grover to the Pioneer Press: Plaschko "said he wants to replace [me] with Asian coaches because he wants more Hmong players on the team." Nearly half of Johnson's students are Asian, but Grover's 2011 team didn't include any on the roster.

In response to the Facebook post, the district launched an investigation and placed Plaschko on paid leave. Grover's replacement has not yet been announced.

In a statement, the district said: "Under no circumstances do we base hiring or firing on a person's racial or ethnic background. The district has a very clear policy on this, and we adhere to it."

Given the challenges Johnson's student body presents, Grover doesn't buy that his team's lackluster performance last season justified his dismissal. He posted this on Facebook early today:

Grover's team may have played like the Bad News Bears, but he doesn't believe that justified his firing.
Grover's team may have played like the Bad News Bears, but he doesn't believe that justified his firing.
Almost every news organization in this town makes me laugh when they post only part of the baseball story. When they mention that we only had 2 wins last year, they don't know that out of the sometimes 12 players we had, none had any pitching or catching experience, and only 3 players had more than 2 years of any kind of organized baseball at all. They print only that to make the reader think that this whole thing is sour grapes. Very few mention we won the conference 2 years in a row prior. NICE TRY! JHS BASEBALL!

Johnson already has a PR disaster on its hands, but here's some advice for school administrators, assuming they want the firestorm to die down: Whatever you do, don't replace Grover with an Asian coach.


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