Black Kansas cheerleader kicked off squad; now coach resigns

A white woman has resigned as the head cheer coach at a private Kansas university after a Black cheerleader said she was kicked off the squad over an argument about her nearly 3-foot-long braids.

The Kansas City Star reports that Casey Jamerson said in a statement that continuing to coach at Ottawa University, which is about 50 miles (80.47 kilometers) southwest of Kansas City, would likely be “a distraction” for the team, staff, and community.

Talyn Jefferson, 20, previously told The Star she refused to remove a hair bonnet earlier this month during cheerleading practice because she worried her long braids could hit a teammate in the face. A junior from Lawrence, she said she was kicked out of practice and off the squad.

The issue gained attention after Jefferson’s friend tweeted about the incident. The tweet describes the coach saying the braids “weren’t collegiate” and that Jefferson shouldn’t have gotten them.

Jamerson has denied the allegations and filed a police report on Jan. 22, saying she was being harassed by people making crude, abusive or threatening comments.

The university investigated and concluded that no policy violations occurred, according to the news release.