Caledonia high school football coach Carl Fruechte, the owner of the longest active winning streak in the country, is under fire after comments made about the school’s recently-formed diversity club.
Fruechte recently penned a letter to the editor in his local newspaper, calling into question whether or not the club will accept all opinions, such as those who believe homosexuality is wrong. The club was recently formed in order to help students learn about “other cultures, perspectives, and all things that make each human unique.” It also has high school administrative backing and school board approval.
“If the year 2020 has taught us anything, It is that free-thinking isn’t allowed when it comes to diverse issues,” Fruechte wrote, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune.”Who gets to decide what is acceptable and not acceptable speech? Are you going to allow students in your club who disagree with your opinions?”
Fruechte, who expressed his love for students, parents and the community while applauding students at the school who want to make a difference, also added: “Will Christian students be allowed in the group to agree to disagree with your opinion? Notice that I said agree to disagree not hate because I love all of the students in our community, but disagree with some of the things this group will stand for.”
School alumni and the community, which is 98% white, quickly questioned Fruechte’s stance — one that many viewed as discriminatory.
“Coach Carl Fruechte, your letter was not written in love and you should be ashamed of yourself,” wrote Alisha Eiken, who graduated from Caledonia in 1999. “Regardless of the empty platitudes, your letter is a thinly veiled attack against homosexuality. The existence of a diversity club does not infringe on your right to think homosexuality is wrong. But you are not allowed to encourage other students to ostracize LGBTQIA+ kids because they don’t conform to your narrow view of Christianity.”
Fruechte’s football program has won 71 consecutive games and has sent two former players to the NFL. Fruechte and the Minnesota State High School League declined to comment to The Star Tribune.