An offensive line coach at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga was fired after posting what school officials described as “appalling” and “unacceptable” comments about Stacey Abrams, the voting rights activist from Georgia.
Chris Malone posted the tweet Tuesday, the day Georgia voters went to the polls and elected Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the Senate, and it gained attention Wednesday, prompting him to delete his account.
“Congratulations to the state GA and Fat Albert @staceyabrams because you have truly shown America the true works of cheating in an election, again!!!” he wrote in the tweet. “Enjoy the buffet Big Girl!! You earned it!!! Hope the money is good, still not governor!”
The university’s athletic director and football coach confirmed that Malone had been fired from his position at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision school.
“Last night, a totally inappropriate social media post by a member of our football staff was brought to my attention,” athletic director Mark Wharton said Thursday in a statement. “The entire post was appalling. The sentiments in that post do not represent the values of our football program, our athletics department or our university. With that said, effectively immediately, that individual is no longer a part of the program.”
Coach Rusty Wright called the post “unacceptable.”
“Our football program has a clear set of standards. Those standard include respecting others,” he said in a statement. “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, effective immediately, that individual is no longer a part of my staff.”
Malone was in the second season of his second go-round as the Mocs’ offensive line coach. He previously coached at the school in 2014 and 2015 and also coached at Massachusetts, Virginia Military Institute, James Madison, Virginia State and Old Dominion. He was a four-year starter for Virginia Tech at offensive guard 1991-95.
In 2018, Abrams was the first Black woman in U.S. history to win a major party’s gubernatorial nomination and she received more votes than any Democrat who has run statewide in Georgia. She lost by just over 50,000 votes to Brian Kemp, then Georgia’s secretary of state.
A star in the Democratic Party, she has focused her attention on voters’ rights and increasing civic awareness since that loss. Her efforts helped Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win Georgia and helped drive massive turnout in the special election Tuesday.
Get Boston.com's browser alerts:
Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser.