UEA Dance Club coach fired after saying Black Lives Matter protesters ‘should be shot’
He also lost a contract with a London dance brand
The coach for UEA Ballroom and Latin Dance Club has been fired after posting a Facebook status which said Black Lives Matter protesters should be “locked up or even better shot”.
“I’m sick of Black Lives Matter,” he wrote. “You should all be locked up or even better shot. You are all disgusting and shameful. And if we all get locked down again then it’s your idiotic behaviour!”
He has since deleted the post and apologised in a second Facebook status, claiming he was “simply distressed” by ongoing police brutality. The apology was also later deleted.
“Myself and others said we were glad he apologised but that he needed to ensure that he educated himself on Black Lives Matter and the issues black Britons face, then he proceeded to block us but leave the comments and accept the defence of those who said he had done nothing wrong,” an ex-student of Richard’s told The Norwich Tab.
In addition to UEA Ballroom and Dance cutting ties with him, Richard also lost a brand deal with DSI London, a dancewear brand.
“We understand the offence the private opinions expressed by an individual on Facebook have caused,” read a statement on their Facebook page.
“We at DSI London & DSI TV wish to make it clear that we do not share these views in any way.”
The incoming and outgoing presidents of UEA Dance and Ballroom Soc wrote in the society Facebook group: “UEA BLDC has a zero-tolerance policy on racial discrimination and we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.”
Richard’s full post read: “So watching all this footage of the protests and especially seeing police being knocked off their horses and the horses running scared!
“The crowd throwing things at the police and the horses. I’m sick of Black Lives Matter!!!!
“You should all be locked up or even better shot. You are all disgusting and shameful. And if we all get locked down again then it’s your idiotic behaviour!
“I’m ashamed of the human race. The police should stop all this from happening an be more forceful and forget allowing peaceful protests!”
The full apology, now deleted, read: “Well, I think a sincere apology is needed by me for causing any unnecessary hurt this evening to anyone that I may have offended.
“I simply myself was distressed at the brutality shown in the aggressive protests today and the attacks on the horses and police.
“These protests should be peaceful and without aggression. Please accept my apologies if my choice of words seemed in appropriate.
“I can honestly say that I am in no way against ‘Black Lives Matter and didn’t mean for this to appear this way.
“As soon as I realised I had accidentally caused offence, I removed the post. But please let’s all protest peacefully and safely.”
Richard’s ex-student told The Norwich Tab: “Though shocking, myself and his ex-students initially took this as poorly worded and not reflective of the person which we believed Richard to be.
“Because of this, one of my friends provided links of various sources of police brutality.
“His response to this was to ask what my friend meant by this and to then justify police action in the name of ‘law and order’ and stating that violence against a 75-year-old protester was only ‘one man’, implying that this results in it not being a serious issue.
“Myself and others do not believe this can simply be written off as being poorly worded and not a reflection of his character as he repeatedly justified police brutality against peaceful, unarmed protesters.”
Richard Miller has been approached for comment. This article will be updated should he respond.
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Featured image via Wikimedia Commons (Oxyman)