CLEVELAND, TN -- Earlier this week, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga’s Cleveland (TN) branch fired three employees who were involved with leaving two nooses at its facility.
Calvin Thompson, a Cleveland Y employee of six years, told WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9 that he found the first noose a few weeks ago and alerted Cleveland Y management after he felt threatened. On Halloween evening, he found the second noose.
Thompson, who is black, felt threatened, he told the television station.
Lee McChesney, executive director of the Cleveland Y, told the TV station that a lifeguard admitted to creating both nooses with pool rope as a Halloween decoration and has since apologized to Thompson. Amidst further investigation, media attention and a visit from the Bradley County NAACP, the Y fired the lifeguard responsible for the nooses and two other employees who knew about them.
The NAACP told the television station that it is pleased with the Y’s decision to fire the employees involved. The organization will work with the Y on sensitivity and diversity training.
The Y of Metropolitan Chattanooga could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to its Web site, the Y of Metropolitan Chattanooga serves more than 37,000 members each year.