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Stereotype of the Month Entry
(6/23/01)


From the Associated Press:

Coach Apologizes About Comments

Story Filed: Saturday, June 23, 2001 12:23 AM EDT

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) Montana State basketball coach Mick Durham apologized Friday for comments he made to The New York Times about American Indian athletes.

The Times published the remarks on the front page of its Sunday, June 17, edition as part of a story about the hurdles faced by Indian athletes trying to enter Division I college sports.

"It seems like the reservation is their comfort zone more than it would be for an inner-city kid," Durham was quoted as saying. "To me, I just think they get the government check, and they stay. I don't know. I guess it's the way they're raised."

Complaints to the school about the article prompted the apology from Durham and a letter to the editor of The New York Times from university president Geoff Gamble expressing the school's support of American Indian students.

More on the story
Apparently, the coach said more than was reported above. From Indianz.com, 8/27/01:

School holds diversity session with Mills

Montana State University brought Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills to its Bozeman campus to speak at a diversity training program last week.

Mills commended the school and tribal leaders for handling a recent incident involving a basketball coach and statements he made about Indian athletes. The Oglala Sioux runner, who won a gold medal for the 10,000-meter run at the 1964 Olympics, said the school and tribal leaders have moved forward after Mick Durham's comments appeared in The New York Times.

"Have you ever been on a reservation?" Durham was quoted as saying. "There's hardly any green grass. They park right in front of their front door. That's always amazed me. There's no self-pride in having a nice house and taking care of it. They don't care if they have five cars broken down, sitting in the yard."

Durham and university president Geoff Gamble have since apologized for the comments.

Related links
Indians as welfare recipients
The "outdated" reservation system


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