TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Authorities are investigating after a Florida State University Seminoles fan threatened head football coach Willie Taggart with lynching after the team lost to rival University of Florida this weekend.
While many fans took to social media express to their disappointment as the Seminoles ended its 5-7 season Saturday, an account under the name Tom Shand posted a meme that superimposed Taggart's face onto a historical image of a lynching, WPLG-TV reported.
"I'm dead [expletive] serious. This is how far I'm willing to go to get rid of this clown!!!" the caption to the post read. Facebook eventually removed the post.
Lynching was used to terrorize and kill black Americans across the U.S. South for decades. Taggart is black.
"A recent racist social media post aimed at our football coach is ignorant and despicable. I speak for the entire FSU community in expressing our disgust and extreme disappointment, and I am glad the state attorney is investigating," FSU President John Thrasher posted on Twitter.
In a statement issued Sunday, Thrasher indicated the post is being investigated by the state attorney. Thrasher also said, "Coach Taggart has our full support" and is a "respected member of the FSU family."
Shand, who works at Hilton Grand Vacations in Orlando, has been suspended.
"Our concern regarding this situation is a top priority," Hilton Grand Vacations said in a statement. "The team member responsible has been suspended while further action is being considered. We want to ensure all team members’ behavior is consistent with our values and code of conduct."