Mom Who Exposed Racist Facebook Comment Speaks Out

Oak Lawn baseball mom says suspension of youth league president who made racist comment on his personal Facebook page "doesn't fit the crime."

The black mother who exposed a racist comment made by the white president of her son’s youth baseball league on Facebook said she feels “betrayed” that the league’s board didn’t force the man to resign.

John T. Kelly, president of the ,  in which he called her a "n---er."

On Monday, the youth league’s board suspended Kelly indefinitely as president until he completes a sensitivity training course, which he has agreed to pay for. Even upon completion of the class, the board says Kelly’s return as league president “isn’t guaranteed.”

Kelly is also banned from coaching a team for one year.

The mother, who lives in Oak Lawn, does not want her name used. Kelly has also said he doesn’t want her identified. She was unaware of the story that appeared in Patch on Tuesday about the Facebook comment until a friend contacted her.

“I feel betrayed,” she said. "I feel like they’re looking at color instead of what is morally correct. If it wasn’t me, I think they would take a different action.”

Her son, who is now 12, has been involved with the league for eight years. Last year her son was part of a team that traveled to Cooperstown, NY, to play in a tournament. A single parent, she’s always helped out with the league whenever she could. Other parents concurred.

“I’ve coached softball, and I’ve been a ‘team mom,’” she said of her role providing snacks for the boys. “I did everything that I was asked. I’ve sold fundraising tickets.”

She was told she could only attend Monday’s board meeting—which was a closed session—if she wanted to present something.

“I was upset. I wanted to be there.”

The comment about Whitney Houston was not the first time Kelly had posted something questionable on his Facebook page, she said.

“John and I had been cordial because our kids are close friends,” she said. “He would make implications, post a picture of something, but he never used the n-word.”

It was her children's father who alerted her to the comment about the late singer.

“When he posted this one I hadn’t been on Facebook for a while. I said enough is enough and called him an a------. How dare you,” she said. “As long as you're president, my children won’t be playing in the league.”

The mother said it was true that she copied Kelly’s comment and put it on the league’s Facebook page, where it was seen by young children.

“I posted it to get people’s support,” she said. ‘I asked, ‘Do you want this guy around your children.’”

The two tried to resolve their differences. The mother and Kelly met last week at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Kelly told Patch he apologized to her “100 times over.”

The mom says there was no apology and left “after things started getting loud.”

He questioned why she had parked in a handicapped space at the restaurant. The mom said she has had several back surgeries and is on disability.

“He asked why I was attacking him personally,” she said. “I told him I just felt like the [Houston] comment was the last straw and that I didn’t think he was a good role model for children. He started swearing.”

When the two could not work out their differences, the youth league's board called a special meeting. Kelly was suspended indefinitely.

“I don’t think the punishment fits the crime,” she said. “I’m so hurt by this. I thought I was going to get an apology. I told the board members he needs to be removed. All different nationalities play in the league. He never should have been president.”

my three sons February 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM
You did the right thing! This guy needs to be put in his place.
Dan February 23, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Please stop..If a black Mayor of Washington gets caught with a hooker and smoking crack in a hotel room and then to be voter back as the mayor.that's ok. Lets not forget about the great Jesse Jackson who has kids with women other than his wife.Lets not forget that some people can say the n word all day to each other , but god forbid throw some people in jail for saying it. Lets not forget how some people raised up Whitney to the highest level of life in front of all the children when all she is is a person on drugs.All of the good this man did and you are going to nail him to the cross for 1 word.Its just a word.Like no one has used this word in one way or another.Im sure the mother of the boy has used this word ,He made a mistake,Say your sorry and move on.We have bigger problems in this world.
oaklawnperson February 23, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Apparently a lot of white people subscribe to the school of "two wrongs make a right." Either that, or it drives them crazy they don't get to say the n-word whenever and however they please.
J. J. Zurek February 23, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I don't know either person involved with this incident, but to me you feel that strong enough about an issue, you should be willing to stand up and demand whatever you believe would correct the wrong. However that being said there seems to be a double standard here. If African Americans feel like starting a group for whatever cause say African American Mother's for for a BETTER EDUCATION", that is referred to as Ethnic Pride, However on the other hand if someone started a group of "White American Mother's for a BETTER EDUCATION" that is racist. When African Americans invoke Race it is Ethnic Pride, In a civil society, it should not be acceptable for anyone to say anything that anyone would find offensive, regardless of Race, Religion, Color or Creed, But as long as we accept the ideology of one group expressing ETHNIC PRIDE and another group being accused of expressing racism, it only opens the door for someone to play the race card. I have friends from all walks of life, That say things to each other all of the time in jest and everyone laughs, but every now and then one will say something, that he or she has always said and someone gets highly offended, for one reason or another, and that is why it should not be acceptable to say anything to anyone that could be construed as racist, antagonizing, or ugly because it is offensive period. If you let people know up front that you find this type of ethnic slur upsetting, they understand that and that they should not GO THERE
DLC DAVE February 23, 2012 at 05:07 PM
My Question is , if she was so offended why is her kid still on a team in this league?,I know I wouldn't want my kid associated with people like this if I was her .
Pat F February 23, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Enough is enough.. Have him apologize in person in front of the Westside group and get it over with! I don't agree with what he said being right, but I also don't condemn all he does for helping kids to be active and have fun. I had 3 sons who all played at Westside and I didn't always agree with everything . I worked 12 hour shifts and couldn't contribute to helping. My wife fulfilled our requirements and my boys got to have fun. They learned sportsmanship and gained friends. We also made friends with other parents and had many good times from T ball up into their teens.. Without these volunteers who help, there would be No Westside Baseball! These people put a lot of time and effort into this league and I've never seen anyone to be a terrible person.. I'm sure if this problem is as bad as she says they will take action. BUT, I really believe a bad day or heat of the moment made John make some inappropiate comments. Work this out and keep the reputation of Westside untarnished.. It is a great organization...............Thank You
Dan February 23, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Lets say John who said this was not white but he was a black man.Would she be doing the same thing? I think not
TIRED OF THIS ALREADY! February 23, 2012 at 05:35 PM
BOTH people need to fight this amongst themselves and LEAVE WESTISDES name out of it!! Westside punished him... Aren't both your kids on the same full time travel team called the Renegades??? Why isn't there a mention of that team that you are both involved in?? SHE IS NOT invloved in Westside anymore, fight this out in private and leave the Westside organization alone!
Dave W. February 23, 2012 at 07:07 PM
The woman may or may not be a saint; it isn't the point; two wrongs never make this not insanely terrible. Stop defending the guy; you just make anyone involved look worse. If anyone is TIRED OF THIS ALREADY, they should talk to J. Kelly, since he is fully responsible for this whole debacle. Anybody that states "Facebook is public." is missing the point. He could be a 'closet' racist, NEVER saying anything in public, but still harbor small-minded sentiments. Guess what, he would STILL be a terrible person to have involved with children, ever. Since his kid seems to be friends with the woman's kid, at least the apple fell off the tree so it won't rot. It WASN'T a simple, verbal outburst (which would still be inexcusable), it was posted with forethought, and left on a social website, regardless of who is whose 'friend' or if kids could see it. CLEARLY it is how he feels. He somehow thought he was 'safe' there, and apparently felt no retribution would follow a blatantly racist post. This also serves as a partial referendum on his friends; on-line and real-life. Everybody might have the occasional 'childhood friend' that has some bizarre, inexplicable beliefs, but they don't necessarily associate with them frequently now. THAT is a choice; to either change that friend, or change being friends with THAT person. Such behavior, from ANY race, has NO place in modern society. He should grow up, or wizen up, and just resign. Westside does itself no favors being associated with him...
Bob February 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Racist comments are hurtful and unacceptable. Would an apology and regret on his part make his actions forgivable? I believe in 2nd chances, but I don't know the man. That being said, Whitney Houston was at first a good, then horrible role model due to her drug use and addiction. I don't blame him for being frustrated and speaking his mind, but anyone with a brain knows that you can't use hate speech to describe another human being. She was a great singer and artist and she was also a drug user and poor role model. Race should have been left out of it as that is an illness that affects all of us.
jmdeunger February 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I agree. I don't care what they said or did. They are both idiots.
jmdeunger February 23, 2012 at 08:52 PM
They can put on their big kid underpants and deal with it-there are worse things in life then being called a name.
jmdeunger February 23, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Oak lawn person -what planet to live on! There are more people that think two wrongs make a right then don't. We are surrounded by rude, mean, selfish people. It's what drives our legal system.
Enough Already! February 23, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I'm beginning to wonder about how we teach our children that it's not right to "tattle" on each other .... we teach them that all through school yet this is a classic example of instead of working out a situation with 'each other' in a civil, adult-like manner, everything has been completely blown out of proportion. Things have went from a 'facebook status update' to an attack personally on the organization at question as well as this man's personal life all the while forgetting that things will get filtered down to this mans children etc etc. This is riduculous - absolutely absurd.
jmdeunger February 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Wow-so over the top! I would say John's a a boarderline caveman but Hitler. Really harass. I have been at the games he's not spreading hate, he just a jerk. This isn't his job, that's the point-just FB. Big mistake, don't call people really really bad names. I don't think much of it, it's name calling nothing more then that. Children can see that it's not the end of the world to be called a name. It is not comparable to the worst things in life. I can say that having been through so many worse things -this is not bad. Just ask the seven mothers of the seven dead Marines what matters today. Name calling would not. Parents have more influence over their children then the someone on the baseball board does.
Outlaw Pal 1 February 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Dave W since you have so much stuff to say I was wondering if you would say the same things to his face if he was in front of you and if you would then you should because only cowards do what you do.
Brandi McGuire Brennan February 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM
What are the grounds for a lawsuit???? I DO NOT AGREE with what this man said, but he does have his first amendment backing him. his whole situation has gotten out of hand. I can't sit here say I know what racism feels like, because I have never encountered it as a white woman. I am also sure that 95% of the people who are sticking up for Mr. Kelly have never encountered racism either, so how can they truly say how this woman feels. The N-word should never be used, ever!!!
oaklawnperson February 23, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Um, just so some of you First Amendment scholars know, the First Amendment does not give you the right to drop n-bombs on Facebook without worrying about your baseball league president gig. The First Amendment is to prohibit the government from making laws restricting freedom of speech. If go on Facebook and call my bosses, Kelly-style, "ye dumassess," they can fire me, and I can't claim First Amendment protection.
Brandi McGuire Brennan February 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Hey Oaklawnperson: thanks for the civics lesson....appreicate it....what is your number in case I ever need an attorney....
Sheldon Cooper February 23, 2012 at 11:21 PM
If it's true that the mother said she felt betrayed because the league's board didn't force the man to resign, then she's being more merciful than Kelly deserves! He should have been KICKED off the board and permanently barred! Gee, Outlaw Pal!! Do you think maybe she'd prefer her name not to be made public so that her kid(s) are less likely to be adversely affected? And also because she doesn't want to run the risk of retribution from bigots? After seeing people trying to turn this around into something where SHE is the one who's out of line, I sure wouldn't want my name known, if I was her! 'so called racist'? That implies that there's a possibility that he may not BE a racist. Perhaps you forgot that he wrote, “I'm so sick if reading about this dumb stupid N----- Whitney Houston". Explain to me in what context that statement can be considered anything else other than racist!! And I suggest you look up the definition of slander because that is in no way what she did. In fact, you claiming that she committed slander is a better example of what you're accusing her of (although I think what you were shooting for was 'libel'.) I'm hoping that this doesn't just fade away! I hope there's enough public pressure to see to it that Kelly is forced to step down and never darken the league's door again!!! Bigotry needs to be stamped out wherever it rears its ugly head, no matter how 'small' the matter seems to some people. It's never 'small'!
JL February 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM
She was offended and the FIRST thing she was a copy and paste? Instead of lets see hmmmm...commenting on his post how offended she was, or send him a message or call him since she personally knows him or gee TALK TO HIM IN PERSON?? No instead she chose to post it on another website and involve the whole community and surrounding communites because she was offended at remarks made about SOMEONE ELSE on HIS personal FB page... Yea makes TOTAL sense to me!!! She tries to ruin a man for ONE COMMENT he made that she found highly offensive?? Oh wait I know, she must want to be in politics, because thats what they are ALL ABOUT!!! P A T H E T I C!!!
jmdeunger February 24, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Everyone knows these two people because they are both very active in the sports community. Public pressure-there's the same 12 people commenting. I don't like Kelly but I dislike the "pc" police more.
Quick Question February 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Quick question for Dave W .Do you know how to juggle jobs
OakLawnBill February 24, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I would have no problem. Houston was being demonized for drug use before her body was cold. She certainly wasn't being held up as a role model. Real men don't rant on facebook.
Sheldon Cooper February 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Outlaw Pal 1 Still waiting for you to tell me how someone who writes “I'm so sick if reading about this dumb stupid N----- Whitney Houston" is only a 'so called racist'? If he cares so much about protecting his children from finding out the fallout that occurs when someone does something unacceptable, maybe he shouldn't write stuff like “I'm so sick if reading about this dumb stupid N----- Whitney Houston" on his FaceBook page. Whatever shame and distress all this causes his family, he has no one but himself to blame. This is what he gets for being such a shining example for his children and for the lessons he teaches them. Have I ever volunteered for anything? Well, let's see. When my parents bought their house in the edge of Southwest Chicago about 65 years ago, the contract for the home had a covenant that bound you from ever selling your home to blacks and if you didn't sign, they wouldn't sell. Too bad that even though they tried to enforce it, it wasn't legal. My parents stood their ground and refused to sign and ultimately bought the house. I guess you could say that my family has a long-standing history of being deeply involved in Civil Right matters. So, uh, yeah!!! I do volunteering! A LOT of volunteering!!! Admittedly, not the type of volunteering that Kelly has done. Mine is all in the field of stamping out the kind of bigotry that kelly and people like him practice. And I can see my work's not done yet!!


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