Local USNA Alumni Association treasurer resigns after accidental live stream of racially explicit conversation

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — Friday night, the Atlantic Beach, Florida Facebook group was alight with posters that listened in on now former local US Naval Academy Alumni Association treasurer and Atlantic Beach Country Club member Scott Bethmann’s accidental Facebook live broadcast of a conversation about the Black Lives Matter movement between him and his wife that included several racial slurs.

“Somehow I clicked onto some live event,” Bethmann can be heard saying in the video, which was screen recorded and circulated on social media immediately following the broadcast.

Bethmann’s social media accounts have since disappeared.

Saturday, the Jacksonville USNAAA Chapter as well as the national chairman of the Alumni Board of Trustees released statements condemning Bethmann’s words and confirming his resignation from the local chapter and national organization.

“Today I was made aware of statements posted to a public forum attributed to an alumni volunteer of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees representing the Jacksonville, FL, chapter. These attributed statements do not represent the mission and values of the Alumni Association, the Naval Academy or the U.S. Navy. As volunteer leaders in our communities, we must be inspirations and examples for all citizens,” Retired Admiral Samuel Locklear said. “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. The Naval Academy 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. 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.”

In his statement, Jacksonville USNAAA Chapter President Caleb Cronic even offered his own phone number for anyone who “speak to me personally to ask questions, to grieve, or to help our chapter move forward, please reply to this email and we can have a personal phone conversation.”

The Atlantic Beach Country Club also released a statement expressing its disapproval for Bethmann’s livestream and “any racist, bigoted and demeaning behavior within our Club and the Beaches Community.” The statement also clarified that Bethmann was never on the board of directors for the country club.

Additionally, a spokesperson for the Bethmanns released this statement from Scott Bethmann regarding the accidental livestream:

"There are no words that can appropriately express how mortified and apologetic my wife and I are about the insensitive things we said that were captured on social media. There is never a time when it is appropriate to use derogatory terms when speaking about our fellow man. I know that an apology from us rings hollow on many ears in our community, especially in the current environment. We intend on using this experience as an opportunity to grow, listen, learn, and reflect. We are deeply sorry for the impact our actions have had on the Naval Academy, my fellow servicemen and women, our former colleagues, friends, family, and the community as a whole. We are committed to educating ourselves more on the racial inequalities in this country and being better people.”

Kevin Beaugrand

Kevin Beaugrand is a digital content producer for Action News Jax.