Anthony Gregg, the outgoing president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, has resigned following his use of racially insensitive language during the organization's annual meeting, according to the organization.
Gregg's offensive comment — within his statement: "The idea is that black people and brown people and yellow people should all be able to see the benefits of next-generation sequencing as it has evolved" — came during a discussion period of a session of ACMG's annual meeting on Friday and echoed around social media. There, it was called "absolutely disrespectful rhetoric" and an "embarrassment." Many called for Gregg's removal from the organization's leadership.
According to ACMG, Gregg apologized for his word choice in his letter resigning from the ACMG's Board of Directors and the office of Immediate Past President.
Maximilian Muenke, the CEO of ACMG, and Marc Williams, the new president of ACMG, add that the organization will strive to live up to the goals expressed in its 2020 Diversity Statement.
"Incidents such as today's emphasize the importance of recognizing implicit and systemic biases that are present in all of us. Episodes such as this should be recognized as sentinel events," Williams said in a video posted Friday. He added that sentinel events should be analyzed to uncover root causes and develop recommendations for improvement.