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FSU Football Fan Fired From Job After Saying Black Coach Should Be Lynched

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Tom Shand was identified as the person who posted a picture on social media that showed a lynching of Willie Taggart, the Florida State University head football coach.

Shand has currently been fired from his job at Hilton Grand Vacations, the company said in a statement on Monday, November 26.

This is disgusting. I’m a disappointed FSU fan but this is too much. I never wish terrible things on people, but I hope that #tomshand gets fired. pic.twitter.com/RiCAiivLgj

— Taylor Levi (@tayrae00) November 24, 2018


What Happened?

An FSU football fan Tom Shand has been fired from his job after he allegedly posted a mocked-up picture of the Florida State University coach being lynched, shortly after the Seminoles lost to rival Florida 41-14 to finish a 5-7 season, according to Orlando Sentinel.

Shand allegedly posted a meme showing the head coach Willie Taggart with a noose around his neck, hanging from a tree. He appeared to post the picture under a Facebook threat on the Florida State Football group.

Under the post are the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing your rep” under the meme depicting Taggart being lynched. He also added the hashtags #firetaggart and #justdoit to the post.

When someone commented on the meme and questioned whether Shand was serious, he doubled down and responded: “I’m dead f***ing serious. This is how far I’m willing to get rid of this clown!!!”

Florida State President John Thrasher defended Taggart, who has been the college’s first black head coach, against this racist attack.

Thrasher stated via the college’s Facebook page: “A recent racist social media post aimed at our football coach is ignorant and despicable. I speak for the entire FSU community in expressing our disgust and extreme disappointment, and I am glad the state attorney is investigating. Coach Taggart has our full support and as true Seminoles know, he is a respected member of the FSU family.”

2/2 Coach Taggart has our full support and as true Seminoles know, he is a respected member of the FSU family. — FSU President John Thrasher

— Florida State University (@floridastate) November 25, 2018

The state’s attorney said on Tuesday, November 27, that the office was investigating the racist social media post.

State attorney, Jack Campbell, said the investigation is still in early stage and he could not confirm whether Shand was personally responsible for the Facebook comments written from an account in his name.

“The nature of anybody being lynched in the Second Judicial Circuit is of grave concern to this office,” Campbell said in an interview with the Sentinel. “Any time a threat or lynching or any other things like that are made against one in our community, we’re going to look into it and if there’s a crime there, we’re going to prosecute it.”


Who Is Tom Shand?

Journalist Roland Martin tweeted that Shand had already deleted his social media accounts, but a now-deleted LinkedIn page stated that Shand was listed as a “Club Counselor at Grand Hilton Vacations, attended Florida State University from 1997-2000, leaving with a 2.9 grade point average before graduating from Purdue University Global with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.”

Looks like #TomShand deleted his Twitter account @tommynolebuc. And he deleted his Facebook account. But that won’t keep the @FSUFootball Fan out of the news. I doubt @HiltonGrandVac waits until Monday to fire Tom. He might not make it to 5 pm today. Lynching a Black coach? NOPE. pic.twitter.com/SrpjpLQ7TZ

— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) November 25, 2018

Lauren George, a spokesperson for Hilton Grand Vacations, said: “Our concern regarding this situation has been a top priority. The person responsible for posting this information has been terminated. His behavior was in violation of multiple company policies and the furthest example from being a reflection of our company’s values.”

Although the Facebook and Twitter accounts under Shand’s name were all deleted, screenshots of his posts were still being circulated widely online.


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