Mon, 13 Jul 2020

USC cuts ties with booster over 'racist tweets'

Field Level Media
02 Jun 2020, 08:40 GMT+10

The University of Southern California revoked the football season tickets of a prominent booster and cut ties with her Monday after the school was made aware of what it described as "abhorrent and blatantly racist tweets."

Marla Brown, an alum and attorney, who claimed to have once worked for theLos Angeles Police Department Union, referenced protesters and looters in the Los Angeles area in multiple tweets over the weekend saying, "They need to be shot," and "Shoot the protesters." Brown has since deleted her Twitter account.

"(Late Sunday), we were made aware of abhorrent and blatantly racist tweets from an individual who identified as a USC Football Booster," athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. "Following an immediate investigation into the matter, we informed the individual that their season ticket and Trojan Athletic Fund membership privileges have been revoked and their payments will be promptly returned. Their account has been flagged in our system to prevent future purchases.

"Thank you to the USC community for helping us identify this individual so that we could move swiftly to terminate our relationship. We stand in solidarity with the Black community."

Brown expressed some remorse for her posts when reached by the Los Angeles Times on Monday, calling them "very stupid remarks."

"They have to do what they have to do," Brown told the newspaper. "They didn't reach out to me before they did it. It's their decision to make, I guess. I have not much control over it. I certainly would've talked to them if they reached out to me, but I didn't have the opportunity."

Former Trojans wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. called out Brown for her tweets Sunday evening. Brown's Twitter profile photo included her with Pittman, while the receiver was wearing his Trojans jersey.

"If you truly believe the things you have said, I politely ask you to take me out of your profile picture," Pittman posted in a tweet to Brown. "This is disappointing, I know my true Trojan family would never. In times like this, it is important for us to stand together."

Brown was asked if she agreed with the school's assessment that her tweets were racist.

"They were stupid and horrible," Brown said to the Times about her posts. "You know, obviously, they view them as racist. The people who complained about it view them as racist. That's their view. If I sat there and looked at it, I can see that someone might view them as racist. But I can also see that they could be viewed as not necessarily racist.

"So, I think you could go either way on that. Obviously they're going the one way on that, to appease the people that are requesting this. I don't really blame people being angry and upset. I did a really dumb, stupid thing."

--Field Level Media

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