The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga announced the firing of offensive line coach on Thursday after he posted a racist tweet directed toward political activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate for the Democratic Party Stacey Abrams.
Chattanooga athletic director Mark Wharton and head coach Rusty Wright released the following statements regarding Malone's dismissal:
In a tweet that has since been deleted, Malone referred to Abrams, who is Black, as "Fat Albert" in a reference to a Black, male cartoon character. He also accused her of "cheating in an election," as seen in the screenshot provided by Shon Gables of CBS 46:
Abrams served in Georgia's House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017 and was the minority leader from 2011 to 2017 before leaving to focus on her campaign for governor.
Although Abrams lost the gubernatorial campaign to Republican Brian Kemp, she has remained a hugely influential political figure in Georgia.
Abrams is credited with playing a big role in flipping Georgia from red to blue in Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
She also campaigned for Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Senate runoff. Both Warnock and Ossoff won, meaning the Senate is a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans.