USC has revoked a football booster’s season ticket and Trojan Athletic Fund membership privileges in response to racist tweets, the university’s athletic director confirmed Monday.
“Racism and hate speech will not be tolerated,” USC athletic director Mike Bohn posted on Twitter.
The athletic director said the university was made aware of “abhorrent and blatantly racist tweets” from an individual who identified as a USC football booster. He thanked the USC community for helping to identify the Twitter user, who he did not call out by name.
However, other users retweeted postings purporting to be by @SoCalMAB, calling for looters to be shot. The Twitter account has since been deleted, but forwarded posts from Saturday captured in other users’ feeds include “Shoot the protesters,” “They need to be shot” and “Can’t wait. At last a reason to shoot them.”
Others identified @SoCalMAB as Marla Brown, whose Twitter bio listed a previous job as an attorney for the Los Angeles Police Department union.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League posted, “This person is NOT an attorney for the LAPPL” and called the tweets “repugnant.”
That prompted @SoCalMab to respond, “I am no longer an LAPD union attorney or LAPD officer attorney and have not been for some time” and apologize for the “misrepresentation” but apparently not the tweets themselves.
Bohn shared a letter sent Sunday to student-athletes.
“In our most difficult times, it’s important to remind ourselves and each other of the building principles and values that unite us,” Bohn wrote. “I want to emphasize that our department of athletics is wholly committed to fostering a community that embraces diversity … we unequivocally and unapologetically denounce all forces of discrimination and racism.”
The letter did not mention George Floyd — whose in-custody death in Minneapolis has triggered nationwide protests — by name, instead citing “recent incidents of violent racism against black people.”
Bohn told students: “We see and hear your pain, as we all struggle, in our own way, to process these senseless acts.”
After assuring athletes that support is in place and encouraging them to reach out for help, Bohn urged them to rally as part of the Trojan community.
“Let’s rally together and fight as one — for justice and equality and against all forms of hatred and intolerance wherever they are — as only Trojans can. Stay safe. You’re in our thoughts. Fight on!”