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Naval Academy alumni board member resigns after accidentally broadcasting racial slurs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A quiet Friday night on the couch between a now-former Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees member and his wife went awry when a private conversation was broadcast to hundreds.

While Scott Bethmann, 63, and his wife, Nancy, were watching the news, they started discussing the Black Lives Matter movement, making racist comments and using slurs in a video that was accidentally streamed on Facebook Live.

Bethmann resigned from his position with the alumni association. He had served on the board of a chapter in Jacksonville.

Somehow I clicked onto some live event,” Bethmann says in the video, which went viral.

Naval Academy Alumni Association board member Scott Bethmann's accidental Facebook Live video was deleted after he spoke poorly of the Black Lives Matter movement and used racial slurs.

In video reviewed by the Florida Times-Union of the USA TODAY Network, Bethmann talks about how large companies such as Citi Bank came out with statements denouncing racism and showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I’ve got the emails about how we’re supporting and we need to fix this problem, [expletive] you,” he says in the video. “So all the white people have to say something nice to the black [expletive] that works in the office. But the black [expletive] don’t get fired. It’s [expletive]. Management’s going to fire the white people.”

The pair discussed how minority groups, particularly women, in the military were going to “steal our intellectual property.”

By the end of the 33-minute accidental stream, which mostly shows a black screen, Bethmann realized he was live and pointing the camera at his cream colored couch. He starts reading comments aloud and asks, “What are they talking about?” before muttering, “Oops” and cutting the feed.

His Facebook page has been taken down entirely.

Screen recordings of the video were taken Friday night before Bethmann’s page was scrubbed.

Naval Academy responds

“Scott has resigned as a local board member locally and nationally,” said Caleb Cronic, the USNA Alumni Association Jacksonville chapter president.

Cronic confirmed Bethmann was disenrolled as a member of the alumni association.

“These attributed statements do not represent the mission and values of the Alumni Association, the Naval Academy or the U.S. Navy,” Retired Adm. Samuel Locklear said in a statement. “As volunteer leaders in our communities, we must be inspirations and examples for all citizens. As Chairman of our Alumni Association, I have accepted the resignation of this alumnus effective today, and asked the Jacksonville, FL, chapter to take appropriate action to appoint a new Chapter Trustee.”

Locklear said the alumni association represents “more than 65,000 individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.”

“We support the Naval Academy mission. As alumni, we seek to uphold the Naval Academy core leadership values of honor, courage and commitment,” he said. “As an alumni organization, we seek to be an inspiration for all young people who want to become future Navy and Marine Corps officers. We will continue to honor that inspirational role. We are all in this together. We must face the challenges of today and all future challenges of tomorrow ... together.”

“As individuals, as Sailors, and as a Navy, we cannot tolerate racism of any kind,” Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of Naval Operations, said in a statement emailed to the Times-Union. “We must actively speak out against it. And when it rears its ugly head, we must take decisive action.”

After the Times-Union’s initial story was published, a spokesman with the Atlantic Beach Country Club confirmed Bethmann’s status as a member would be rescinded.

“Be assured we find these comments extremely offensive, inflammatory and antithetical to what this Club stands for and represents,” a statement from the country club said. “As such, we have voted today to immediately expel this member and his family from the Club.”


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