Man Who Posted Racist Message About FSU Coach Willie Taggart Fired

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 10: Head coach Willie Taggart of the Florida State Seminoles looks on during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 10, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame won 42-13. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

A spokesperson for Hilton Grand Vacations confirmed the company fired the employee responsible for a racist post that depicted the lynching of Florida State head coach Willie Taggart.

"Our concern regarding this situation has been a top priority," Lauren George said in a statement on behalf of Hilton Grand Vacations to ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson. "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."

The Tallahassee Democrat's TaMaryn Waters and Karl Etters spoke to George, who cited confidentiality concerns in declining to identify the employee who had been fired.

According to Adelson, the post in question went up after Florida State's 41-14 loss to the Florida Gators. The Seminoles dropped to 5-7 with the result, ensuring they'll miss a bowl game for the first time since 1981.

The Orlando Sentinel's Chaunte'l Powell reported the Florida state attorney's office is looking into the post. State attorney Jack Campbell told Powell the office will prosecute the matter if it rises to a criminal level.

Powell wrote that the racist image was posted through a Facebook account belonging to Tom Shand, though it wasn't definitively clear Shand was the person responsible for putting the image online.

Internet users subsequently discovered Shand's LinkedIn page and discovered he worked for Hilton Grand Vacations. Using that information, fans started using social media to direct their anger at Hilton Grand Vacations' official accounts.


Editor's note: This article's headline has been updated to reflect the fact that Hilton Grand Vacations is not affiliated with Hilton Hotels.