VENICE – Venice High School has fired head football coach John Peacock four months after he led the Indians to a state championship.

VHS principal Eric Jackson fired Peacock from the football position Wednesday. Peacock will remain on staff as a teacher. Assistant coach Larry Shannon will be the Indians’ interim head football coach.

Peacock has coached at Venice for 19 years.

Coach peacock issued a statement Wednesday saying quote I was fired today due to my strong passion for Venice HS and how I handled the latest situation with Braden River HS.

Here is Coach Peacock’s statement in full:

After 19 years of coaching football for Venice High School, I am sad to announce that I was fired today. I was let go due to my strong passion for Venice HS and how I handled the latest situation with Braden River HS.

I “liked” a tweet that one of my players put on social media about Braden River Head Coach Curt Bradley and a spray tan bottle. I thought this to be a joke about him using spray tan, I had no clue he was multi–racial. I did not come out publicly to defend myself when this occurred because I was asked not to. Nothing was intended to be racist.

I’m appalled at Coach Bradley desperate attempt to exploit today’s racial tension to distract from the disgrace he has brought to his program. This has happened because I was the coach that finally stood up and exposed Coach Bradley for cheating in order to protect the integrity of high school football. I knew this could be an outcome of that decision, and I was willing to accept that. As sad and unfortunate as it is, it was the right thing to do and I would do it again.

I would like to thank all the past and current players, coaches, parents and proud supporters of Venice High Football. Venice HS administration will find a solid replacement for this position, as Venice is one of the premier programs in the state of Florida. Once again, thank you to everyone who has been involved. I will always be an Indian!!!!!

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