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Queen’s students rally for former track coach who was fired for social media comments

Click to play video: 'Queen’s students rally in support of former track coach who was terminated last month'
Queen’s students rally in support of former track coach who was terminated last month
Queen's University students woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to rally in support of their track coach Steve Boyd who was fired last month due to comments he made on social media – Mar 7, 2020

Queen’s University students woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to rally in support of their track coach Steve Boyd, who was fired last month due to comments he made on social media.

The Queen’s board of trustees and the student senate had a joint meeting in the Donald Gordon Hotel and Conference Centre on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., which was unrelated to Boyd’s termination.

But his supporters did their best to get their message across to people entering the building.

“The firing of Steve Boyd has not only devastated the athletes but it’s also hurting the broader community,” says Miles Brackenbury, a track student at Queen’s.

Boyd was a track coach for Queen’s since 2010 and was voted Ontario University Athletics women’s coach of the year last year.

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He now claims he was fired last month for making comments on social media about how the University of Guelph handled the termination of their own track coach, Dave Scott-Thomas, who was once known as one of the most successful running coaches in Canada.

Scott-Thomas was fired back in December of 2019 due to allegations of sexual misconduct. The University of Guelph released a statement based on those allegations in January, which reads in part:

“While the 2019 investigation was ongoing, the University received new information related to the earlier investigation that made it clear that Scott-Thomas had lied repeatedly in 2006 about several significant matters.”

“Had the University been aware in 2006 of this information, it would have terminated its relationship with Scott-Thomas at that time.”

READ MORE: Queen’s track coach terminated following Scott-Thomas social media comments

Global News has contacted Scott-Thomas several times for comment but has not heard back.

Shortly after Boyd was terminated, Queen’s University’s interim provost Tom Harris sent a statement to Global News which reads in part:

“Mr. Boyd made numerous statements on social media berating and blaming student athletes who were themselves victims.”

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Though the Queen’s administration had previously made several attempts to warn Boyd concerning his posts, Harris says,

“Mr. Boyd’s comments follow a pattern of objectionable social media commentary spanning several years.”

One of the posts Harris was referring to is one on Facebook, where Boyd says: “Many of you enjoyed the personal benefits of winning … while potentially exposing athletes to the abuse some of you were suffering.”

READ MORE: University of Guelph alleges fired track coach Dave Scott-Thomas ‘lied repeatedly’ 

Boyd told Global News that if he did return to Queen’s, it would be for his students.

“I’m just super proud of them,” Boyd said in response to his student’s rallying in support of him.

“They’re continuing to force the issue. They think that if the right people see factual information, they will realize a mistake was made.”

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