ROANOKE, Va. – Mayor Sherman Lea said he meant it as a joke, but he’s now receiving criticism for a recent Facebook comment.
After the Patrick Henry girls basketball team won the Region 5D championship Monday night, their excitement soon turned to frustration.
The team’s head coach, Mike Hedrick, posted on his Facebook about the major win to which Lea responded:
“Please note a lot of good Basketball programs in the state are not playing basketball no Richmond.City schools playing. Because of Covid 19. Everything won this year needs asterisk by it. Mayor Lea.”
On Tuesday, Lea told 10 News that he considers Hedrick a good friend and thought he was private messaging him.
“I thought it was a joke that I could talk to Mike about, I didn’t send that to him recognizing that it would go all over Facebook,” said Lea. “But I apologize to him and then I’m going to be apologizing to the team because I’m a big supporter of athletics in this city.”
“I wish the comment wasn’t made, but it was and now it’s a learning experience for all, that’s for me, that’s for my team, that’s for everyone involved,” said Hedrick.
He also said that he and the mayor have had a private conversation since the post.
Lea emphasized that his comments are a reflection of him and not the rest of Roanoke City Council and the city spokeswoman added that this was a personal matter for the mayor and not official city business.
The Patrick Henry girls said they’re going to be using this as fuel for their next game, the state semifinal, against Potomac Falls on Wednesday.