Racist social media post about Florida State's black football coach sparks investigation
© Getty Images

Florida State University President John Thrasher on Sunday said that the Florida state attorney was investigating a "racist social media post" targeting the school's black football coach, Willie Taggart. 

"A recent racist social media post aimed at our football coach is ignorant and despicable," Thrasher said in a statement posted on the university's official Twitter account. "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."


Thrasher did not specify which social media post he was referring to, but a school spokesperson confirmed to The Hill on Monday that Thrasher's comments came in response to an image posted on a Florida State fan Facebook page that depicted Taggart with a noose around his neck. 


The image featured the message “Believe in something, Even if it means sacrificing your rep" and was posted in a comments thread after the university ended its season with a loss to in-state rival University of Florida, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

The message appears to be a play on the recent Nike ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

The Sentinel noted that the post was published by a user listed as Tom Shand. When asked in the thread if he was being serious with regards to the image he posted, Shand responded, "I’m dead f---ing serious.

"This is how far I’m willing to go to get rid of this clown!!!” 

The post has since been deleted. But screenshots of the image were saved by multiple people. The Sentinel additionally noted that Facebook and Twitter accounts under Shand's name were deleted by Sunday afternoon.