Vandy football defensive backs coach violates school policy, investigation finds

Posted at 1:57 PM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 14:57:43-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Vanderbilt football defensive backs coach Dan Jackson violated university policy after defending Kanye West in a social media post, according to the school's Equal Opportunity and Access Office.

Jackson posted comments from his personal Facebook page using Kanye West as an example for free expression and equality in the treatment of Black and white public figures.

Jackson said he was unaware of West's recent racist and anti-Semitic remarks.

The EOA determined Jackson's comments were not "discriminatory nor intended to target any group" and didn't violate Vanderbilt's anti-harassment policy.

It was determined the post did violate the Electronic Communications and Information Technology resources police for staff.

The Equal Opportunity and Access Office handles reports of discrimination or harassment.

Vanderbilt Athletic Director Candace Storey Lee said Jackson remained away from his football duties for the rest of the season following the post and is completing anti-discrimination sessions offered by the university.

The sessions will continue through at least the Spring semester for Jackson.

AD Lee reiterated the athletics department does not tolerate antisemitism in any form, including coaches and staff.

Jackson released the following statement on the investigation:

A few weeks ago, I read a social media post made by a lifelong friend whom I’ve mentored for over 20 years. I interpreted his post as a statement asking for equality and fairness in media coverage of all individuals. Without knowledge of recent actions by the individuals mentioned in the original post, including Kanye West, I impulsively replied. My emotion surrounding mental health and athletes using their voice for positive change were at the forefront of my comment.

After being made aware of discriminatory statements made by West, I was sickened to know that my words could be interpreted as hurtful. For this I am saddened and apologetic. In no way do I support antisemitism or any form of discrimination, nor do I condone any forms of bias.

I have lived my life and focused my career on being a positive light for others to help them become the best versions of themselves. This is who I remain. I am determined to use this experience as a transformative one for myself and those I influence. In the weeks and months ahead, I am hoping to meet with those I have hurt to apologize to them and learn from them.

It is an honor to be a member of Vanderbilt University and this diverse community.
Dan Jackson

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