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Mascoutah School District investigating racist comment after death of head coach Justin Love

"We understand your anger—be assured we are dealing with this and will take appropriate action," said Superintendent Craig Fiegel

MASCOUTAH, Ill. — The Mascoutah School District is investigating reports of a racist comment following the death of the district's head basketball coach.

Mascoutah High School coach Justin Love, who is Black, collapsed and died at the school on Tuesday. A cause of death has not been released. 

Mascoutah School District Superintendent Craig Fiegel said that an "insensitive and racist comment" regarding Love's death was posted on social media.

"This type of behavior has no place in Mascoutah Schools," Fiegel said in a statement posted to the school district's website. "We understand your anger—be assured we are dealing with this and will take appropriate action. We ask every to think about Justin at this time and keep our focus on his wonderful contributions to our school and community. Let's put our energy towards ways to support one another and Justin's family during this difficult time."

Love, 41, was hired at the high school in 2017. He had previously starred two years with the Saint Louis University Billikens, averaging 16.9 points per game and leading the team in scoring in both seasons.

He helped earn the Billikens a top spot in the NCAA Tournament in 2000 and was inducted into the Billiken Hall of Fame in 2009. He later went on to play professionally for 12 seasons.

"Today has been an extremely tough day at MHS. We mourn the loss of Coach Justin Love," Mascoutah's athletics program posted on Twitter Tuesday. "He was an inspiration to so many young people and an absolute joy to be around daily. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family. His impact on our school community is unforgettable.

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