For the first time since her departure as Belmont University's women's soccer coach, Lisa Howe spoke up on Monday, releasing a statement.
After recently disclosing to her team that she and her same-sex partner would be having a baby, Belmont released a statement last Thursday saying Howe had resigned. On Friday, the university issued another statement, saying the conclusion of her employment was a mutual agreement. Members of the soccer team, however, say Howe was fired.
In a statement issued by her attorney and first published by national gay and lesbian news magazine The Advocate (see article here), Howe described last week's events as an "unfortunate situation." She did not say whether she was dismissed or was forced to resign after six years as Belmont's coach.
"I was a good student athlete recruiter, had an organized and professionally run program, and was one of Belmont's best employees," Howe said in the statement. "None of that changed when I acknowledged that I am a lesbian and that my partner and I are expecting a baby. I am proud of who I am and my family and our future, and I want every person — no matter what race, religion, nationality or sexuality they represent — to feel the same way. Yes, I would have preferred to not be in the headlines, but if my situation leads to one person beginning to feel acceptance now, or one person becoming more understanding of diversity, and if people can talk openly and honestly about topics they never broached before, then this unfortunate situation will have served a positive purpose."
Howe has yet to speak directly to the Nashville media.