Tennessee-Chattanooga fired offensive line coach Chris Malone after learning of his tweet that attacked former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who played a prominent role in encouraging voting in both the presidential and U.S. Senate runoff elections in the state.
Malone since deleted the tweet, which criticized Abrams’ appearance and jabbed her for her loss in the 2018 election by fewer than 55,000 votes.
“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 in a statement Thursday morning. “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.”
Abrams encouraged Georgians to register and turn out to the polls. Her efforts have been credited with helping president-elect Joe Biden win the state and with flipping two Republican Senate seats to the Democrats in Tuesday’s runoff.
“Congratulations to the state GA and Fat Albert @staceyabrams because you have truly shown America the true works of cheating in an election, again!!!” read Malone’s tweet, which was captured by Chattanooga Holler before it was deleted. “Enjoy the buffet Big Girl! You earned it!!! Hope the money was good, still not governor!”
Malone was hired in 2014 to coach the Mocs’ offensive line after jobs that included seven years at James Madison and one season at Virginia State.
Head coach Rusty Wright also condemned the tweet.
“Our football program has a clear set of standards,” Wright said. “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.”