John Beilein apologizes for inadvertently calling Cavs players ‘thugs’ in meeting
The Cleveland Cavaliers are rebuilding and have endured a rough season, which became even more complicated on Wednesday due to a poor choice of words by John Beilein in a film session with his players.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the first-year Cavaliers head coach left his players stunned when he told them during a Wednesday film session they were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs.”
“Thug” is a term with negative racial connotations, so Beilein’s use of the term did not go over well with the players, who reportedly were silent after the words came out.
However, Woj spoke with Beilein, who told the reporter he did not realize his choice of words at the time. Beilein says that he actually meant “slugs” rather than “thugs.” The comment was supposedly intended as a compliment to his team for no longer being slow moving on the court.
Cavs GM Koby Altman, who is black, was alerted to Beilein’s remark and spoke with the coach. Beilein then reached out to his players to apologize and clarify what he meant.
The Cavs are 10-27 this season. Kevin Love recently acted immaturely and yelled at Altman over the weekend. Plus a report last month said players were unhappy that Beilein was running the team like a college program. Adding this matter on top of everything, and you have to imagine the 66-year-old is already on the hot seat.