ASBURY PARK – At least two members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation say Rutgers University made the correct decision when it fired former head basketball coach Mike Rice Wednesday.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said during a Thursday news conference in Asbury Park that Rutgers made the right decision.
The reaction came a day after Rutgers’ officials announced their decision to fire Rice after video surfaced of him physically and verbally abusing his players.
“I think it’s absolutely right that they fired the Rutgers coach,” said Menendez, referring to Rice’s actions as “totally unacceptable.”
“We have to speak out loudly against those who will act in ways that will infringe upon rights of other citizens,” he said.
Pallone echoed the senator’s comments, adding that moving forward “this is another opportunity for Rutgers, basically, to renew its commitment” to prevent bullying, referring to the suicide of a gay student – Tyler Clementi – that garnered national attention.
“You see this a lot,” he said. “The problem is that we have to do a lot of education to make people understand that they shouldn’t make racist comments and anti-gay comments.”