University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s (UTC) assistant football coach, Chris Malone, was fired for a tweet criticizing Democratic activist Stacey Abrams. Due to her voting rights organizations and work mobilizing voters, Abrams was given much of the credit for the projected wins of Georgia’s two Democratic Senate candidates during the runoff elections this week.
The tweet was published just before midnight on Tuesday. Malone’s Twitter account has since been deactivated.
“Congratulations to the state GA and Fat Albert @staceyabrams because you have truly shown America the true works of cheating in an election, again!!!” wrote Malone. “Enjoy the buffet Big Girl! You earned it!!! Hope the money was good, still not governor!”
The Tennessee Star reached out to UT Chattanooga for comment – their spokespersons didn’t respond by press time.
UTC Athletic Director Mark Wharton and head football coach Rusty Wright issued a joint statement addressing Malone’s remarks on Thursday. Neither man mentioned Malone by name explicitly in their addresses, instead referring to him as “that individual” as they announced his dismissal from the program.
“[Wednesday] night, a totally inappropriate social media post by a member of our football staff was brought to my attention,” stated Wharton. “That entire post was appalling. The sentiments in that post do not represent the values in our football program, our Athletics department or our university.”
Wright added that Malone’s statements violated their program’s conduct standards.
“Our football program has a clear set of standards. Those standards include respecting others. It is a message our players hear daily. It is a standard I will not waiver on,” stated Wright. “What was posted on social media by a member of my staff is unacceptable and not any part of what I stand for or what Chattanooga Football stands for. Life is bigger than football and as leaders of young men, we have to set that example, first and foremost.”
At the time of press, Malone hasn’t issued a follow-up response to his Twitter remarks or his firing.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Football” by Chattanooga Athletics Department.