Rutgers must fire basketball coach Mike Rice after violent, anti-gay tirade made public

UPDATE: Rice has been fired, Towleroad reports.

On Tuesday, ESPN aired a video of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice shoving players, throwing basketballs at students, and shouting anti-gay slurs at a practice session.

Rutgers suspended Rice for several games and fined him $50,000 in December after this video was sent to them, before it was leaked to the public. Now, both ESPN and Associated Press report the school is reconsidering whether or not to fire Rice.

If the school truly values its LGBT community and takes its safety and well-being seriously, they have to let Rice go.

This is likely another case of anti-gay slurs simply being the "go-to" language of choice when a man wants to insult another man, and it's also likely that Rice did not think about how this language affects far more than just the direct target when he chose to use it.

But whether he meant to or not, what Rice has now said (via this video) to all of Rutgers' gay students is "the worst thing I can think to call someone else ... is to say they're like you."

And his behavior in this video is so violent and so angry, it doesn't take much of a stretch to envision any gay student at Rutgers - let alone a gay athlete - feeling completely unsupported and even unsafe in an environment with this man.

The school sent a powerful message to Rice himself when it suspended and fined him for this incident, without any public pressure. But now that this tape has gone public, and the entire community has seen it, the school has to take further action to send an even more powerful message of support to its LGBT students.

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