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Palm Beach Atlantic lacrosse player, Zach Scholl, removed from team after social media posts deemed “offensive” by coach

...not worth it for me to surrender.  So thank you for the opportunity, but someone else will have to be wearing #40 this year.

Gruntworks HQ – Jupiter, Florida

Palm Beach Atlantic University senior, Zach Scholl, was removed from the Lacrosse team by his coach after his social media account showed posts of guns.

What we know so far:

  1. Last summer, Zach was told by his coach that a social media post including the word “beer” was probably not “safe” and was about to cross the line.
  2. The backlash from his coach escalated over the year to include personal meetings and texts informing Zach of his coach’s displeasure over social media postings of hunting trips, visits to a gun range with his girlfriend, and posts about Zach cleaning his legally-owned weapons.
  3. On June 27th, 2018, the coach texted Zach an ultimatum requiring him to choose between his social media posts on the Second Amendment and playing lacrosse for the University.
  4. Although Mr. Scholl states that backlash towards the school is “unnecessary”, he has filed a formal complaint with officials at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
  5. Zach is 22 years old.  He is old enough to legally own weapons.

Zach Scholl describes his first contact with the PBAU Lacrosse coach as “minor”.  Last summer, Zach had invited a friend from Colorado to a Washington Nationals game and posted pictures on his social media account with them at the game, in the stands, enjoying the game.  The title to the post was an excerpt from the song by Tyler Farr titled “Why We Live Here”.  The lyrics were: “Home of the brave, baseball, and cold beer.  It’s pretty clear that’s why we live here.”  Zach explained that the coach (whom he had never net at the time) contacted him via text to explain that the word ‘beer’ was “pushing the line”.  When asked in an interview with Clint Scherb, owner of Gruntworks Clothing, what Zach had thought of that contact, Zach said he thought it was a bit strange, but nothing that worried him; given that the university that he attended was a private, Christian University.  Zach also explained that the reason that he did not know him was that he had just become the coach of the Lacrosse team.

Things began to escalate throughout the year, with texts and face-to-face meetings about other social media posts.  Some of these posts included a trip to the gun range with his (Zach’s) girlfriend; a post showing two pistols that he had just cleaned; and a duck hunting excursion that Zach had participated in.  On June 27th, 2018, the coach texted Zach an ultimatum, seen below:zach scholl coach text message

After several hours of contemplating his response, Zach responded.  In part, the text included “…not worth it for me to surrender.  So thank you for the opportunity, but someone else will have to be wearing #40 this year.”  And while the University released a statement supporting the freedoms enumerated in the Constitution, Clint Scherb doesn’t agree with the coach’s approach to the situation.  In a WPBF interview, Clint stated:

“It’s honestly not…doesn’t have anything to do with the guns.  You know, it could be anything really.  I don’t feel that it is right that anybody out there should be able to look at your social media account, and just because they disagree with what’s being posted on there, take away something you love to do.”

In a show of solidarity with Zach and his stand on the First and Second Amendments, Gruntworks Clothing has made Zach Captain of the newly-formed Gruntworks Lacrosse Team and issued him a shirt.

Product Block - Lacrosse
Want to be a member of the team?  Get the shirt here.

Zach Scholl said that he is not calling for any backlash against the university.  He even stated that “President Flemming is a stand-up guy.”  William M.B. Flemming is the current President of the University, and has not released a statement on the ongoing incident.  Zach also explained in the Gruntworks interview that he was never made to sign any statement acknowledging that officials at the school would follow/control student’s social media accounts.  During the live broadcast, it was mentioned that adjusting your privacy settings on your social media accounts may be necessary to avoid situations like this.

Follow Gruntworks for updates to this story.  Subscribe to the blog via email to stay up to date on other stories.

 

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