College Sports

FSU’s Willie Taggart depicted in lynching meme. The state attorney is investigating.

A behind the scenes look at Willie Taggart’s first day as Florida State’s football coach

Go behind the scenes with Seminoles.com as they take a look at Willie Taggart's first day as Florida State's head football coach.
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Go behind the scenes with Seminoles.com as they take a look at Willie Taggart's first day as Florida State's head football coach.

After Florida State’s bowl streak of 36 consecutive seasons was snapped with a home loss to the University of Florida, a Seminoles fan went to the extreme on social media in his anger toward head coach Willie Taggart.

Under the user name Tom Shand in an FSU football fan group on Facebook, a meme of a person getting lynched had its face replaced by Taggart’s, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The post has since been deleted, but not before screenshots and outrage circulated on Facebook and Twitter.

The meme had a caption of, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing your rep.”

Shand’s post also included hashtags with the phrases, “Just do it, Fire Taggart and Lethargic Stupidity.”

FSU president John Thrasher denounced the racially -charged post in a statement.

“A recent racist social media post aimed at our football coach is ignorant and despicable,” Thrasher said in a statement, according to 247 Sports. “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.”

Shand’s LinkedIn account lists him as an employee of the Hilton Grand Vacations in Orlando, Florida. A spokesperson for the Hilton Grand Vacations issued a statement to the Herald regarding Shand’s actions.

“Our concern regarding this situation has been a top priority,” the statement read. “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.”

When another FSU fan commented on the post if he was serious and what was wrong with him, Shand responded with, “I’m dead [expletive] serious. This is how far I’m willing to go to get rid of this clown!!!”

FSU fans angry with Shand’s post have tagged the Hilton Grand Vacations Twitter account seeking retribution for his actions, which has led to Shand deleting his Facebook and Twitter accounts, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

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