Many Coaches, Players Angered by 'Mr. Basketball' Tweet

February 13, 2017 07:14 PM

Many coaches and players are calling for Ken Lien, the owner and chair of the Mr. Basketball Award, to step down after a series of controversial tweets about Muslims and other minorities.

The most recent tweet came Friday night.  Lien, under the handle @mrbasketballmn, retweeted a post about Muslim high school students in New Jersey, adding the comment, "Run their a**es otta there!"

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That tweet immediately sparked a host of angry responses. The account has been deleted. 

Henry Sibley Coach John Carrier issued a response saying, "Henry Sibley Boys Basketball will no longer be acknowledging your Mr. Basketball program."

Former Mr. Basketball recipient Khalid El-Amin posted this response on Facebook, "I am angered and embarrassed to be associated with the Mr. Basketball award."

Matthew McCollister is the head coach at Brooklyn Center High School and also joined the chorus for Lien to step down.

"It's divisive, it's hurtful, it's hateful," McCollister said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to Lien Monday morning to give him the opportunity to explain himself. 

He said, "I have probably said too much already" and declined an interview.

As far as removing Lien from his post, that could be difficult.  As owner and chair of the award, Lien is not appointed or elected by anyone.


Ellen Galles

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