SEC Football Coach In Hot Water Over Social Media Post
Mike Leach can be described in multiple ways, with the term 'interesting' likely drawing the most uses, so him posting things and commenting on social issues would surprise no one.
However, on Wednesday the first-year head coach of Mississippi State found out just how sensitive, and quickly people in his new state can be when a post he made resulted in unwanted consequences.
On Wednesday night, Leach tweeted a meme depicting a woman knitting a noose: “After 2 weeks of quarantine with her husband, Gertrude decided to knit him a scarf.”
While Leach's decision to post anything depicting a noose, especially inside the state of Mississippi was without doubt in poor taste, most people, myself included don't believe there was any intent other than to be humorous in the face of our current quarantine situation.
On Thursday, Leach apologized for the tweet, saying, “I sincerely regret if my choice of images in my tweets were found offensive. I had no intention of offending anyone.”
However, some of the current players on his Bulldogs roster didn't seem to immediately understand or take well his post. Erroll Thompson, Fabien Lovett, and Kobe Jones. seemed less than impressed with the coach's post.
Thompson, a captain on last year's team retweeted the original post with a hand-on-the-chin, eyebrow-raised thinking emoji. Defensive lineman Fabien Lovett responded to the tweet with "Wtf," while senior defensive end Kobe Jones responded to Lovett with "Facts. He tripping."
Friday, Lovett announced his intention to transfer from Mississippi State. While Lovett didn’t elaborate on his decision and didn’t say this incident prompted it, it's a logical step to believe it played at least some part in the decision.
Leach is not the first coach or athlete to make a poor decision when posting on social media and most likely won't be the last, but he is a cautionary tale of think before you hit post, because, in these days of heightened social awareness, everyone should think three times before hitting send, and even then it might be a good idea to think again before throwing it into the internet where everyone can see it.
Lovett is already receiving a lot of interest from inside the SEC, as coaches from Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Florida wasted no time jumping on the opportunity to take advantage of Leach's misstep.