A middle school football coach in Portland, Ore., has lost his job following his refusal to change plans he'd made for a team party at Hooters.
In an interview with KATU, the coach, Randy Burbach, remained steadfast in the choice of venue (despite his subsequent job loss). “Yes, this is worth losing my coaching job over,” he told the station, though he acknowledged Hooters isn't exactly a "pizza parlor."
KGW reports the team, comprised of 7th and 8th graders that attend Corbett Middle School, chose Hooters as the location for its awards dinner. Burbach, seeing the activity as a coming of age ceremony, agreed to make it happen.
In an open letter addressed to "Families and Friends of Corbett 7th/8th Grade Football," the school's athletic director, JP Soulagnet, explained why he did not approve:
I spoke to many people over the weekend regarding the location of the event and time after time they looked at me in disbelief. I started the conversation off with posing a question. Outside of a bar, tavern, or strip club where would be the next worse place in the lines of restaurants to take a middle school football team to? Time after time the reply was Hooters.
Despite being informed that one particular parent requested the location be moved, Soulagnet says the coach "was unyielding and emphatically said no," thus leading to his dismissal.
"Some might say that this restaurant objectifies women. I would tend to agree," added Soulagnet. "I think it sends the wrong message to our young men and that saddens and worries me the most. I’m surprised that more families are not concerned."
While there will be no official, school-sanctioned trip to Hooters, Burbach says he'll be there, along with anyone else who would like to attend.