Chris Malone, a football coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been reportedly fired after posting an offensive tweet about former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and grassroots organizer Stacey Abrams.
Abrams was widely heralded this week for helping to flip two senate seats, getting John Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock elected in a special runoff on Jan. 5. But Malone, an offensive line coordinator, took issue with the hard-fought victory and posted a hateful message on social media.
“Congratulations to the state GA and Fat Albert @staceyabrams because you have truly shown America the true works of cheating in an election, again!!!” reads Malone’s tweet, captured by Chattanooga Holler. “Enjoy the buffet Big Girl! You earned it!!! Hope the money was good, still not governor!”
On Thursday (January 7), the university released numerous statements addressing the since-deleted tweet. Head coach Rusty Wright labeled the tweet as “unacceptable.”
“Our football program has a clear set of standards,” Wright said in a statement posted to social media. “Those standards include respecting others. It is a message our players hear daily. It is a standard I will not waiver on. 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. With that said, effectively immediately, that individual is no longer a part of my staff.”
Athletic director Mark Wharton called Malone’s tweet “appalling.”
“The sentiments in that post do not represent the values of our football program, our athletics department or our university,” Wharton said in a statement.
In 2018, Abrams became the first Black woman to become a major party nominee for governor. She lost a close race to Brian Kemp in an election that sparked claims of voter suppression.