Steve Boyd firing: He should have taken a knee and run out the clock

"According to Mr. Boyd, the complaint from Guelph came before The Globe report was published. After The Globe investigation came out, Mr. Boyd also entered into an exchange with a group of Guelph alumni on Facebook." - Globe and Mail

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Steve boyd at 2018 U Sport Cross Country Championships. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated.

© Copyright – 2020 – Athletics Illustrated

Steve Boyd, former coach at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario is no Roberto Duran.

Duran, a Panamanian, is known as one of the top welterweight – middleweight boxers of all-time. He is also well-known for declaring “No Mas” as in “no more” or “No Sigo” for “I won’t go on” during his rematch with the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard; either way, he knew when it was time to quit.

Boyd, so fixed in his moral position, absolutely refused to relent – especially in online chat forums and on social media. The bullheadedness cost him his job. His doggedness is to be admired and appreciated, but he simply didn’t know when to quit.

He was arguing in favour of the firing of rival Dave Scott-Thomas of Guelph University,  and Athletics Canada’s defunding of Speed River Track and Field Club.

Queen’s University Athletics Director warned him to stop. There is conflicting arguments in the running community as to whether he stopped or continued.

He went as far as to call out Olympic marathon runner Reid Coolsaet, who was close to Scott-Thomas, as well as to suggest that the titles that Guelph won during Scott-Thomas’s tenure to be rescinded.

Canada’s athletics-coaching community is reeling with the recent firings of coaches including Scott-Thomas, the most successful CIS/USport coach of all-time, the firing of Rob Pike from Trinity Western University and the Ottawa Lions Andy McInnis and Ken Porter, who were suspended by Athletics Canada for alleged sexual abuses.

Athletics Canada cut funding for his privately-owned Speed River Track and Field Club.

Boyd, unlike the others, was not fired or suspended for alleged immoral activities. He was fired because he refused to back off on his position – arguing with many of Canada’s athletes in a very public way.

The firing of Scott-Thomas has divided Canada’s small running community.

Boyd, one of Canada’s top athletics coaches, paid for his high-risk pursuit of retribution. Continuing to flail while metaphorically bloodied and TKO’d on the canvas, he told Michael Doyle of the Globe and Mail, “It took 13 years for Guelph to fire their coach for what he did, and it took two months for Queen’s to get rid of me for having an opinion about it.”

It wasn’t just his opinion that was being censured, it was his unbaiting, insensitive pursuit of justice.

While he is a talented coach and a morally-principled person, he is a fighter to the end. And with the firing of Scott-Thomas, he was winning the fight and the war. He should have declared “No Mas” and quietly continued his role of head coach at Queen’s University.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Joseph, Your opinion is respected – thank you for your passion on the subject.

    For the record, and Steve knows this, we have agreed on about 95% of what each other have said about various subject matter on chat lines. His and my “politics” and “perspectives” are very similar.

    On the one hand I agree – being a martyr, here, he is shedding light on a free speech issue and for that, I signed the petition, re-published it and shared it on social media and have stated publicly that the firing “has gone too far.”

    I also agree with others that the distraction of his firing from the justice for Megan Brown was unfair – not his fault by any means.

    However, and I will say this to Steve in-person, going into the Facebook page-discussion so soon and suggesting with a strong argument that titles should be rescinded was also “too far”.

    I agree to your sentiments, but in the fairness of open dialogue and debate, he went one step over the line too.

    I hope all the best for Steve and really-really hope he is coaching in U Sport again – our sport needs him.

  2. What crap this article is. You acknowledge Boyd is “a talented coach and a morally-principled person” but then state he should have taken a knee? Even with the incredible technology of Google Maps, I am unable to determine where your spine is. “He should have declared “No Mas” and quietly continued his role of head coach at Queen’s University.” It seems you are suggesting that despite his moral resolution he should have chosen to act otherwise. I know Steve, and anyone who does will support the fact that he is a man of integrity. Asking anyone to take a knee instead of acting the way they feel is right is shameful, and absolutely not in Steve Boyd’s nature. I don’t know how often you are willing to sacrifice your moral principals for a position but based on this article you can learn a thing or two from Steve.

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