The man who started the Minnesota Mr. Basketball award in the 1970s is under fire after posting an anti-Muslim message on Twitter.
"Run their asses otta [sic] there!" tweeted Ken Lien in response to a tweet about Muslim students in New Jersey. Lien, the chairman of the Mr. Basketball award in Minnesota, has since deleted his Twitter account, but a photo his comment is still available.
Lien's tweet prompted Henry Sibley head coach John Carrier, who is urging basketball programs in Minnesota to no longer acknowledge the "Mr. Basketball Program as an award speaking for Minnesota."
The Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association, which is not affiliated with the Mr. Basketball award, tweeted its support for Carrier.
"Supporting the thoughts and words expressed by Coach Carrier and using the words of Cesar Chavez, the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association will continue to strive to 'cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens coaches, athletes, students, communities, and this nation.'"
Meanwhile, Lien is apologetic, telling the Star Tribune that he feels bad about what he tweeted, while adding that he gets upset when "I see all this stuff bashing our country."
University of Connecticut basketball hero and former NBA player Khalid El-amin is Muslim and won the Mr. Basketball award at Minneapolis North in 1997. He posted a message on Facebook calling for Lien to step down.
"If Mr. Lien does not do the right thing in stepping down I would strongly support the creation of a new organization to recognize our elite basketball players," El-amin said.
Carrier noted that this isn't the first time Lien used the Mr. Basketball Twitter account to voice his personal opinions about Muslims relocating to the United States. Multiple screenshots of Lien's Twitter account were sent to Gophers basketball insider Nadine Babu. Here they are, beginning with his apology to Coach Carrier.