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Florida Football Coach Uses Slur, Calls Homosexuality 'Disgusting'

Pete Linforth/Pixabay

Johnnie Saunders said he may quit coaching youth football if he's asked to "abandon the morals and values that we were raised on by our good parents and grandparents."

A Florida youth football coach called homosexuality "absolutely wrong and mentally disgusting" on Facebook posts this weekend, calling on community leaders to stop a rise in LGBTQ presence.

Johnnie Saunders, founder and coach of the Eustis Junior Panthers and of a 10-and-up football team with the Apopka Raptors, wrote the homophobic posts on Sunday, according to the Daily Commercial.

Now Saunders has written on Facebook that he may stop coaching if he is asked to "abandon the morals and values that we were raised on by our good parents and grandparents."

In one of his deleted posts, Saunders wrote, "If we continue too [sic] remain silent as our young boys turn to [slur] then what kind of men are we!" The newspaper did not print the slur but said it was a commonly used term for gay men.

Saunders said he deleted the post because a family member of an athlete reached out to him to say his words had caused pain.

But the coach stood by his antigay message in an interview with the newspaper.

"I wanted people to address the situation and stop pushing it under the rug," he told the paper.

That situation is apparently a rising number of boys coming out in the community.

In another Facebook post, Saunders wrote, "God made no mistakes when he created us. No matter how much they break our hearts, they do us wrong or even betray us, we continue to love females and females only as our lovers, wives and sexual companions until the very day that we die. Anything else is of this world and not of God. It may be accepted but it will be always wrong even bye personal choice."

After the local newspaper printed the posts and its interview with Saunders, he wrote in a lengthy post on Facebook that he may quit coaching. He decried an environment where he can't "pray out loud," where he "must be silenced cause the truth sometimes offends others."

"If being a coach means I can't tell parents sometimes the problems they blame on others really were created right from their very own home," he wrote. "I think it's time for me too proudly head for the locker room and hang up this volunteer whistle. I got thirty years plus of teaching young boys and girls about this harsh game called Life."

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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