There’s nothing quite like college football. Those Friday night lights and heroes being made inspire us all and keep us cheering on our alma mater.
For the lucky few who get to play, college football can be a dream come true and even the on ramp to being drafted into the pros.
For those who are connected to the coaching and training staff, and those who report on the game as journalists, it’s also a very exciting time.
Recently in Tennessee, however, a college sports reporter by the name of Kasey Funderburg lost her job after a racism controversy.
Funderberg was a well-liked reporter at the University of Tennessee and provided valuable insights from the sidelines as fans cheered on the vols. People liked her and appreciated what she brought to the game.
The 26-year-old sports reporter was just starting out in her career and doing an amazing job, but then she made the mistake of standing up to racism.
What happened is this weekend, the Vols were playing Kentucky. They wore their black uniforms as a way to keep their lucky streak.
A well-known satire account on Twitter joked that fans should also paint their faces and come in blackface, which Funderburg found stupid.
She said the account is “fake” and warned people not to let these kind of “disgusting” jokes ruin the greatness of college sports. Then, all hell broke loose…
Shame on the University of Tennessee for firing a great employee based on Tweets she sent back in high school. We have to stop this absurd practice of canceling people for things they did on social media as teenagers. It’s indefensible. https://t.co/6dGe53eTXB
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 27, 2022
Attackers Dig Up Dirt on Funderburg…
Funderburg calling out the tweet didn’t go the way she hoped. Instead, old tweets of hers were dug up from when she was 17 in 2013. The tweets include three in which she uses the term “ni–a” affectionately and in a joking manner.
The University of Tennessee was informed of her old tweets and she was subsequently let go from her position.
As a UT grad who went on to become a centerpiece of the Vols media network, this is deeply upsetting for Funderburg, of course. Online petitions have already been going around asking for her to be hired back, but it’s unclear if that will happen.
It’s worth noting three main things here that are useful for everyone to know for their own survival in the era of cancel culture and being fired over social media comments in the past.
Firstly, if you work in a public job try to limit your engagement with controversial subjects and jokes.
Secondly, don’t try to play the hero. Many parody accounts and online trolls have pretty bad tempers and won’t hesitate to ruin your life if you piss them off too much.
Thirdly, don’t make the mistake of thinking this stuff is actually motivated by actual outrage. Funderburg used “ni–a,” which is very common in popular culture and rap as a term of endearment.
The idea she is some kind of racist hater is absurd.
Didn't use them in a bad way? pic.twitter.com/bVDA0I8OGs
— 757 Vol (@usafdadhttr) October 27, 2022
Bring Kasey Back
I think she deserves a second chance, don’t you?
This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.