Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach’s insensitive tweet already earned him widespread rebuke. Now it may have cost him a player.
On Wednesday night, the recently hired Leach tweeted a meme of an old lady knitting with the caption: “After 2 weeks of quarantine with her husband, Gertrude decided to knit him a scarf…,” though the “scarf” is actually a noose.
Leach received blowback over the tweet, including from multiple players and a school professor. According to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Margaret A. Hagerman, an assistant professor of sociology at MSU, condemned the tweet’s racial undertones by saying “lynching ‘jokes’ are incredibly offensive anywhere” and “especially in Mississippi.”
And a day later, sophomore defensive tackle Fabien LoVett announced his decision to enter the transfer portal. LoVett wrote “WTF” in response to Leach’s tweet, which the 59-year-old coach has since deleted and apologized for.
In announcing his decision to leave the SEC school, LoVett did not indicate whether his decision resulted from Leach’s tweet. But he did retweet a few comments that suggested a connection, including one from Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe that criticized Leach.
After redshirting in 2018, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound defensive tackle had 10 tackles and a sack last season. He was a quality recruit, a three-star prospect who held offers from the likes of Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama and Memphis before picking Mississippi State.
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