The up and coming metal band Lionfight fired their bassist, Bryan Patrick Cole, after he posted a racist rant to Facebook. Cole was agitated by the Baltimore riots and protests, and mentioned how Freddie Grey and Mike Brown – both of which were victims of police brutality – “probably deserved it.”
You can read his rant below, but be mindful that it’s extremely racist and offensive.
In swift action, the band fired Cole. According to the news site Lambgoat, Cole posted on Facebook that, “It’s a sad world we live in… Freedom of speech is dead.” Cole apparently forgot that there are two sides to that amendment. Exercising their own freedom of speech, Lionfight issued the following statement:
“Today an ex band member of lionfight decided on his own to say some really shocking and racist remarks on his personal page. Not only did he offend many, including the other band members, he set back the social clock greatly by his ignorant remarks. We say ex because we cannot have that mindset and mouthpiece be a representative of us personally or what we’ve worked so damn hard for. Bryan will no longer be playing music with us. We love him like a brother and we will always be there to pick him up when he falls but we cannot move forward with him being a part of this. He made a really bad decision today and hopefully one day he will earn the forgiveness of each and every one of you, including ourselves.”As for lionfight, even though it was one band member with these opinions, the entire band took a major blow today. He was a part of lionfight and therefore the band was guilty by association. The lionfight name was all over the press today in a very disgusting light that DOES NOT accurately represent us personally or professionally. Regardless, something like this isn’t easily repaired. It may not even be repairable at all. It’s crazy to think how one moment can literally flip your world upside down. We apologize that this formal statement took us a while to post but it has taken us this long to even begin to gather our thoughts on what has happened today.”
After the band’s statement, Cole issued another one which directly contracted both his rant and earlier statement:
“No matter what happens with me or lionfight, I want to say how sorry I am about my post about Baltimore. I spoke completely out of anger an frustration and I never meant for my words to be read in that way. I was angry about the destruction of a city that I’ve always wanted to visit and I have NO HATE against any race, gender, or sexual orientation. You don’t have to believe me but if I was a racist, I wouldn’t have been so sick to my stomach to the thought that people actually think of me as a hurtful, judgemental person. I would love if anyone wanted to talk to me about any concerns they have, but I assure uo again that I am not racist and that I made a HUGE mistake… And as we all make mistakes, I hope you find it in your hearts to forgive me for my selfish idiotic actions. I believe in peace among ALL humans, and I hope that we can get passed this and understand that I never meant to act like such a fool. I’m so so sorry.”
Image Cred: Alt Press