News & Politics

Portland Football Coach Fired Because He's a Cop

Portland Police (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes)

Last week, a high school football coach in Portland learned that he would not be returning when play resumes in the fall. The reason? He says it’s because he’s a sergeant with the Portland Police Bureau.

Ken Duilio was named the coach of the Cleveland High School football team in 2019, after holding previous head coaching positions with two other Portland high schools.

According to OregonLive,

Portland Public Schools has fired Cleveland High School football coach Ken Duilio, he says because of his position as a sergeant for the Portland Police Bureau.

Duilio, who took over Cleveland’s football program in 2019, said he was told Monday that his coaching contract would not be renewed.

Asked if the reason for his dismissal had to do with his job with Portland police, Duilio told The Oregonian/OregonLive: “100 percent.”

Portland Public Schools athletic director Marshall Haskins said coaches’ contracts are renewed each year on Aug. 1. The district, Haskins said, “chose to go in a different direction” at Cleveland. He would not say why but denied the decision had to do with Duilio’s other job with Portland police.

Diulio says that a group placed pressure on the school to fire him. He doesn’t know what group it was, but that it started after he spoke at a press conference on June 26 about riots at the North Precinct building. Fliers soon went up on telephone poles calling for his firing. He told OregonLive that being a cop was 100% the reason his contract wasn’t renewed.

The fliers detailed two incidents from 2001 in which Duilio was involved. One was an altercation with gang members while he was off duty; the second was an officer involved shooting in which he mistakenly shot a good Samaritan who had wrestled a gun away from an armed robbery suspect. His record appears clear since that time, but in our current cancel culture, a mostly flawless record just isn’t good enough.

Duilio detailed the timeline for OregonLive:

About a week ago, Duilio said he was asked to come into the district office to talk about incidents listed on the flier. Duilio said he was told that the district “didn’t see a path moving forward because of pressure they’re getting” and was asked to resign.

Duilio said he respectfully declined. Later in the week, he was again asked to resign, he said, and again Duilio said he didn’t think that was the right thing to do. Duilio declined to say who called him into the district office or who asked him to resign.

One day later, Duilio was dismissed. Haskins said he was the one who delivered the news.

“It’s unjust, from whoever is leading this,” Duilio said. “PPS still had a role in it. They could have stood up to them.”

Daryl Turner, the Portland Police Association President, has been an outspoken critic of the way Portland has handled the riots and the aftermath of the George Floyd protests:

Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, called it discriminatory that the city school district let Duilio go as a football coach.

“He’s built relationships and partnerships with people and youth in the community. He lives in Portland, raises his family in Portland and has helped direct dozens of kids who may otherwise be going a different direction were they not playing football,‘’ Turner said. “It is a shame and unfair that they fired him based on the fact that he’s a Portland police officer. It is discriminatory and contrary to what they should be teaching kids in school.”

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.

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