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Chattanooga assistant football coach fired for 'hateful' tweet about Stacey Abrams

The University of Tennessee in Chattanooga offensive line coach Chris Malone mocked Abrams' appearance and falsely claimed there was cheating in Georgia elections.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has fired an offensive line coach following a social media post disparaging both the state of Georgia and Stacey Abrams.

In the now deleted tweet, screenshots of which were shared widely online, Chris Malone posted on Tuesday night: “Congratulations to the state GA and Fat Albert @staceyabrams because you have truly shown America the true works of cheating in an election, again!!! Enjoy the buffet Big Girl!! You earned it!!! Hope the money is good, still not governor!”

Malone's entire Twitter account was deleted by Wednesday night.

UTC Chancellor Steve Angle posted a video on Thursday announcing the firing and saying the tweet was "hateful, hurtful and untrue."

"Coach Malone is no longer a part of this university," Angle said in the video. "University faculty and staff are expected to lead in a way that achieves and maintains a respectful and tolerant civil campus environment."

"The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga does not tolerate and unequivocally condemns discrimination and hatred of all forms," Angle concluded.

Abrams is the former Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, former candidate for governor of Georgia and a voting rights activist. She's widely credited with helping Democrats win the 2020 presidential election and Tuesday's U.S. Senate races in Georgia.

Chattanooga athletic director Mark Wharton issued a statement Thursday, saying the post was brought to his attention Wednesday night.

“A totally inappropriate social media post by a member of our football staff was brought to my attention,” Wharton said. “The entire post was appalling.”

Football coach Rusty Wright referred to Malone as “that individual” and called the post unacceptable and said it violated the program’s standards.

Malone was no longer listed on the Chattanooga staff website Thursday morning. Chattanooga played one game in the 2020 season, a loss at Western Kentucky.