PORTLAND, Ore. – A Corbett Middle School volunteer football coach on Saturday took his team to Hooters to celebrate the end of their season despite objections from the school and some parents.
Randall Burbach said the party was “worth losing my coaching job over.”
Burbach won't be back to coach the team next year. He was an unpaid volunteer with no plans to be back. The school was unhappy with the trip and the ensuing controversy, so the decision that Burbach would not return was apparently mutual.
Corbett Middle School’s athletic director sent a letter to parents saying he didn’t support the decision because he feels Hooters objectifies women.
In part, the letter said: "Some might say that this restaurant objectifies women. I would tend to agree. I think it sends the wrong message to our young men and that saddens and worries me the most."
Though he admitted Hooters isn’t exactly a pizza parlor, Burbach said he wanted to take his team on a coming-of-age style trip to wrap up the season. Hooters features waitresses wearing revealing uniforms
Once the story gained national attention, Hooters of America offered to pick up the tab for the party. The company issued a statement on Tuesday:
"The Corbett Middle School football players, coaches and their families have earned the right to celebrate a successful, hard-fought season. This Saturday, Nov. 9, Hooters is picking up the tab for an awesome end-of-season football party to honor the team’s gridiron success. To top it all off, Hooters will donate $1,000 along with 20 percent of Saturday’s Jantzen Beach location sales to the Corbett Booster Club so that the entire community can join in celebrating the team’s winning season,” that statement said.
Michelle Rolens, the mother of one of the players and the co-president of Corbett youth football, said she was OK with her son going to Hooters for the unofficial trip.
"I feel like this has gotten totally blown out of proportion," she said on Tuesday. "I hope that if anything I've taught my kids that I'm a very strong woman. I'm the primary breadwinner in my house, and I don't find it offensive to go to Hooters and see a little skin."
This story will be updated.