An offensive line coach from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (UTC) was fired after his now-deleted tweet mocking Georgia politician and grassroots organizer Stacey Abrams made rounds on social media.
Following the win of Democrats Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the recent Senate runoff elections in Georgia, Chris Malone tweeted that Abrams has once again cheated in the elections and called her “Fat Albert.”
IN OUR INBOX: We’ve heard that @UTChattanooga assistant football coach, Chris Malone, deleted his account after posting this vile comment. Parents and students are outraged. pic.twitter.com/0bNJ1HYgPx
— Chattanooga Holler (@NoogaHoller) January 7, 2021
Abrams is widely recognized for her role in strengthening the Democratic coalition in Georgia, which was key to winning the 2020 presidential election. She endorsed both Warnock and Ossoff, whose victories have handed the US Senate back to the Democrats.
Statements From UTC Officials
UTC Chancellor Steve Angle denounced Malone’s actions and confirmed the coach’s departure from the university in a video posted on Thursday. Angle said that the tweet was “hateful, hurtful and untrue,” especially since the school expects its faculty members to be respectful and civil.
“The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga does not tolerate and unequivocally condemns discrimination and hatred of all forms,” the chancellor said.
Chancellor Angle Remarks on Former Mocs Football Assistant Coach pic.twitter.com/8n5vvLYZa2
— UTChattanooga (@UTChattanooga) January 7, 2021
UTC Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton and UTC Head Football Coach Rusty Wright also issued statements that described the assistant coach’s words as “appalling” and “unacceptable.” Both men emphasized that such sentiments have no place in the UTC football program and reiterated that Malone is no longer part of the team.
The Chattanooga branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also released a statement expressing their shock and disdain over Malone’s “derogatory statements concerning the physical appearance of an African American woman who is seeking to end voter suppression.”
Malone, who has been Tennessee-Chattanooga’s offensive line coach for two years, has deleted his Twitter account and has not issued a response to the university’s decision.