College Football

Nick Saban defends "coon-ass" story

I’ve got coon-ass friends!

Yesterday, Nick Saban got in trouble when he told an anecdote by one of the members of the LSU board of trustees. You can listen to the audio here but here’s the transcript:

He was walking down the street yesterday before the Sugar Bowl. He calls me. There was a guy working in the ditch, one of those coon-ass guys that talk funny. I can’t talk like them, but he can. Most people in Louisiana can. He says, ‘Hey you see where coach Saban signed up with Alabama – you know however they talk and the board of trustees guy says, ‘yeah I saw that’ and he says, ‘that son of a bitch, I feel like he’s f’ing my wife.’

And then Nick Saban has a nice chuckle. But now that he’s catching some heat about it, he released this statement:

Those comments need to be placed in the proper context so as to understand the meaning of what was said. The words were used in paraphrasing a story told to me by a friend. I was simply using the same wording used by the person who told me the story.

The term in question is not language that I use or condone, and I can understand how some would take offense. However, I think it must be noted that those comments were made off the record and the words merely reflected an anecdote that was told to me using that language.

For the record, “coon-ass” is a derogatory term for cajuns and Saban’s defense that he was merely relaying a story is weak at best. It is unclear whether Saban then went on to tell a joke, “Say, did you hear the one about the Jew, the Catholic, and the Colored Boy who went to heaven?”

[Sun Sentinel]: Slur puts Saban in midst of uproar

[Wikipedia]: Coonass