Tyrone Terrill suspects racism in Johnny Howard's Frogtown football ouster

Tyrone Terrill, chair of the African American Leadership Council, is angry about the recent firing of Johnny Howardas head coach of the Frogtown Football program.

In a letter to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and other city officials, he lays out serious concerns from the AALC about why Howard was fired after 19 years, including suggesting that it may have been racially motivated.

Writes Terrill:

I do believe that the issues that Mr. Howard is alleging are directly connected to concerns I and others have had with the City of Saint Paul Park & Recreation Department that are unjust, if not discriminatory and racist treatment towards African American males and females.

St. Paul Parks and Rec spokesman Brad Meyer says the decision to offer someone else the job was based on dozens of factors. The department evaluates the pros and cons of every coaching position annually, says Meyer, and makes changes accordingly. The department did offer Howard the assistant coach position, but Howard declined.

In the letter, Terrill requests that Howard be reinstated into the head coach position of the youth football team, which Howard started in 1991.

Restore Mr. Howard back as a head coach and Commissioner is the just and fair thing to do. While this may impact a couple of other well-deserving individuals who have served the Frogtown football program, none of them have had the years of service that Mr. Howard has given to that program and community.

The letter ends with a request for a meeting with Coleman, City Councilmember Melvin Carter and Parks and Rec director Mike Hahm. Terrill asks the St. Paul officials to respond to his request for a meeting by the end of the day tomorrow.

Meyer says they have not set up a meeting with Terill, but Hahm called Terill last week to clarify several factual errors in the letter. Parks and Rec plans to send the AALC a letter in response to further clarify, says Meyer.

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