JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A former member of the U.S. Naval Academy alumni trustees issued an apology statement Sunday for racially insensitive comments made on social media.

Retired Capt. Scott Bethmann was asked to resign as a trustee on Saturday after a live conversation with his wife that was posted on Facebook disparaged admission by the academy of African Americans, Asian Americans and women. News reports said the couple didn’t appear to realize they were streaming online via Facebook Live.

“There are no words that can appropriately express how mortified and apologetic my wife and I are about the insensitive things we said that were captured on social media,” Bethmann said in the statement. “There is never a time when it is appropriate to use derogatory terms when speaking about our fellow man.”

The comments were made by Bethmann and his wife, Nancy, while they were watching TV news and discussing the Black Lives Matter movement. The Florida Times-Union reports they were overheard using a slur for African Americans and making other racial comments on the Facebook Live feed.

The newspaper’s report said that by the end of the 33-minute accidental stream, which mostly showed a black screen, the video shows Bethmann realizing he’s live and pointing the camera at his cream-colored couch. It said he began reading the comments aloud and asked, “What are they talking about?” before muttering “oops,” and cutting the feed.

“These attributed statements do not represent the mission and values of the Alumni Association, the Naval Academy or the U.S. Navy,” Retired Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III said in a statement. “As volunteer leaders in our communities, we must be inspirations and examples for all citizens.”

Locklear, chairman of the academy’s alumni association, said he accepted Bethmann’s resignation as an alumni trustee and asked the chapter in Jacksonville, Florida, to appoint someone else to the position.

Locklear said there about 65,000 members of the Naval Academy alumni association.

The U.S. Naval Academy’s Dean of Admissions released this statement Tuesday afternoon:

“Over the weekend, a now-former member of the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees made vulgar statements in reference to Naval Academy admissions and the admissions process at the United States Naval Academy.

To clarify, that alumnus was not an employee of the U.S. Naval Academy, nor was he a member of the Naval Academy’s Admissions Board; he was not involved in any way in the admissions process or decision-making on candidate offers of admission.

He was not a Blue and Gold Officer.

To reiterate the words of Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck, we cannot tolerate racism or bigotry of any kind within our U.S. Naval Academy family — it completely violates our Navy’s core values, and does not support the Naval Academy mission.

We have and will continue to work with great pride to reach out to every eligible and competitive young person across the United States — regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic background — and do our absolute best to provide them a path toward gaining admission to the United States Naval Academy and/or obtaining a commission as an officer in the Naval Service. Everyone is, and will be, treated with dignity and respect,”

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Comments
  1. Penelope Davis says:

    That’s disgusting! Minorities comprise a greater percentage of our enlisted than they do in society. In other words, they serve their country at a higher rate than whites do. 40% of our enlisted armed forces are minorities. Trust me, when the US military shows up, it does not matter what gender race, color or creed they are, they are the best trained & equipped military on earth.

    My Dad (USNA ’53) was career Navy and he did not think much of the USNA admitting women… until he met some. They changed his mind. Service academies are some of the hardest schools to get into in this country and they are free, so nobody is excluded because they qualify but cannot afford to go there. They get the best of the best young people.

    Leadership, patriotism & brains come in all colors. If you graduate from a service academy or basic training, you ARE one of the best & the brightest.

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