March 2 (UPI) -- Creighton men's basketball coach Greg McDermott apologized Tuesday for using a racially insensitive analogy after a loss to Xavier last week.
"On February 27th, after an emotionally tough loss on the road, I addressed our student-athletes and staff in the postgame locker room and used a terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss," McDermott said in a statement posted on Twitter.
"Specifically, I said: 'Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation.' I immediately recognized my egregious mistake and quickly addressed my use of such insensitive words with my team.
"I have never used that analogy and it is not indicative of who I am as a person or as a coach. I am deeply sorry. I have apologized to our student-athletes and to our staff, as well as to President [Daniel] Hendrickson and Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen."
Shortly later, Creighton University released a statement saying McDermott's language was "deplorable" and inconsistent with the school's values.
"Coach McDermott acknowledged the impact of his words and apologized to his student-athletes, their families and his staff," the university said. "While an apology is a start, and while we believe this was out of character for Coach McDermott, in no way does it diminish the fact that his remark was hurtful to many and has absolutely no place in the Creighton community.
"We have offered our full and unconditional support to those affected by his words."
McDermott has been the head coach at Creighton since 2010. Before taking over the Bluejays, he had coaching stops at Iowa State, Northern Iowa and North Dakota State.
Creighton (17-6, 13-5 Big East) was riding a four-game winning streak until losing to Xavier on Saturday. The Bluejays are scheduled to play Villanova on Wednesday.