MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County is on administrative leave after a memo he wrote promoting higher standards in hiring instead sparked controversy.
"The Board of Directors of the Manatee Boys & Girls Club has placed Marc Dosogne on two weeks administrative leave while we handle this matter."
Dosogne says his memo was intended to set hiring guidelines for the organization. One line states, “I'm not interested in potential candidates who come in with a lot of tattoos, face piercing, dreadlocks.” Another line excludes those who had children as a teenager; another says the organization should hire people interested in more than just music and sports.
NAACP President Susie Copeland says the statements shows racial and cultural bias.
"They want an individual that is more interested in other things than sports. When you look at our NFL or NBA what do you see?” Copeland says. “And so those are undertones that [are] being used, so yes we took offence to it."
The NAACP took specific offense to the edict banning dreadlocks.
"One of our members is actually a bank manager and he has dreads, and he was highly offended,” Copeland says.
Dosogne apologized for his comments in a recent exclusive interview by ABC 7.
"There were some poor choices of words that does not reflect my character or what was in my heart,” Dosogne says. “My intent was to make sure that we are doing our very best to help our people avoid pit falls and learn from their mistakes in a positive way."
But NAACP officials say his apology and the two weeks leave is just not good enough, especially in light of the fact that the apology contained a reference to collard greens which the NAACP found offense as well.
"I think if he was sincere about the original apology and then to come back and say ‘we are going to bring in collard greens,’ the mind has not changed. They are not sensitive to various cultures."