In perhaps the least surprising news of the past 24 hours, the University of Chattanooga has fired offensive line coach Chris Malone in light of a repugnant tweet directed at Georgia politician and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.
The tweet was posted late Tuesday night, following the Georgia runoff election for the state’s two Senate seats. Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won their respective races over their Republican opponents, a result with which Malone clearly didn’t agree.
“Congratulations to the state GA and Fat Albert @staceyabrams because you have truly shown America the true works of cheating in an election, again!!!,” said Malone’s post. “Enjoy the buffet Big Girl!!! You earned it!!! Hope the money was good, still not governor!”
Malone’s remarks circulated among students, parents, and school officials throughout Wednesday, and the coach deleted his account. Yet the tweet was screen-capped for the record, negating any chance Malone may have had at denying the comments.
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
“Last night, a totally inappropriate social media post by a member of our football staff was brought to my attention,” said UT-Chattanooga athletic director Mark Wharton in a statement (via the Knoxville News Sentinel).
“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.”
UT-Chattanooga head football coach Rusty Wright also denounced Malone’s remarks.
“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,” said Wright in a statement released by the university.
Rusty Wright – UTC Head Football Coach pic.twitter.com/1xCmzTQUWl
— UTChattanooga (@UTChattanooga) January 7, 2021
Malone was going into his second season on the Mocs’ football staff, returning to the school after previously coaching at UT-Chattanooga from 2014 through 2o15. The Mocs played one non-conference game in the fall (a 13-10 loss to Western Kentucky), but the Southern Conference pushed its season to Spring 2021. UTC’s first conference game is scheduled for Feb. 20 versus VMI.
Abrams has been a key figure for the Democratic party since losing the Georgia governor’s race to Brian Kemp in 2018. She was the first Black woman to be nominated by one of the two major parties in a gubernatorial election and was under consideration as a vice-presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket.
Since then, Abrams has been a major advocate for voting rights and awareness, working to increase turnout and polling places throughout the state. She is justifiably credited with helping Joe Biden win Georgia in the presidential election, in addition to the victories by Warnock and Ossoff on Tuesday.