Shemy Schembechler was hired and fired by the Michigan Wolverines in a span of three days. Schembechler’s short-lived tenure as the assistant director of recruiting was the result of insensitive and offensive comments and likes on Twitter coming to light.
In his first statement since his firing, Schembechler released a lengthy statement through a PR firm:
“My entire life and that of my Dad and family has been devoted to the best in people – no matter their race, religion or creed. I have fed my family through hard work and dedicated service promoting Black excellence and lifelong successes in academics and athletics for all. I was raised on the right side of history. The success of myself, my family, my father, our whole legacy is centered on the debt we owe the scores and scores of Black families, and all families, who allowed us to be a part of their incredible journeys. These Black players are among the greatest influences in my life besides faith, family and my father – all of which inform me of inalienable equality. Creating greater opportunities for every single aspiring athlete, especially Black athletes, has been our family’s focus and life’s work. But what I do for a living is far less important than for people to know what is in my heart, and has been, since I was born, instilled in me by my pioneering father. By inexplicably and irresponsibly liking things on social media I owe an unabashed and unequivocal apology to my hundreds of friends and fellow coaches in the Black community, all communities, the University of Michigan, my father’s legacy and my family. Any words or philosophies that in any way seek to underplay the immeasurable suffering and long-term economic and social inequities that hundreds of years of slavery and the “Jim Crow” era caused for Black Americans is wrong. I was wrong. We must never sanitize morally unsanitary, historical behaviors that have hindered the Black community, or any other community. There are no historical silver linings for the experience of our brothers and sisters. While disappointed in my flippant behavior on Twitter, those who know me best like Stony Burks, Pierre Woods and many others will confirm what they know to be true in my heart and head. Let this be yet another unfortunate example of exercising better caution and judgment on social media, not just to avoid infringing on your lifetime commitments, core values and ideals, but to help continue the march of even more progress for our melting pot. My sincerest apologies, again and profusely, to anyone I have offended, to the great institution that is the University of Michigan and to the broader athletic community I have been honored to dedicate my life’s work with the integrity and decency inspired by my family over the decades. We have all made mistakes which is why I hope for forgiveness based on my expansive life’s work, and not any moment of indiscretion.”