A University of Tennessee sideline reporter has been fired, seemingly due to her use of the “n-word” in tweets that were posted in 2014 when she was a teenager.
Kasey Funderburg, a reporter with the Vol Network Radio, who also appeared on the ESPN-operated SEC Network, resigned on October 27, an athletic department spokesperson told Knox News. A spokesman for Tennessee’s athletic department declined to go into detail about her resignation.
While an official reason for her resignation has not been revealed, it comes days after old Twitter posts from 2013 and 2014 surfaced in which she used the n-word, at a time when the reporter was just 17.
Officially, Funderburg was a host in Tennessee Athletics’ broadcasting department who also had on-air roles in various Vol Network programming.
The tweets were revealed after she interacted with an alleged Twitter troll, under the username Richard G. West, who frequently targets the University of Tennessee and their fans.
The alleged troll claimed that “Tennessee will be announcing Dark Mode for the 7pm matchup this Saturday against Kentucky. All fans will be asked to wear black clothes and paint their face all black as well,” in an attempt to trick Tennessee fans and students into wearing blackface to the game.
This prompted a response from Funderburg, who said, “THIS IS A FAKE ACCOUNT and it’s disgusting that this person thinks putting out a joke like this is okay. Please don’t believe everything you read on Twitter.”
As that tweet began to gain traction, however, other users posted screenshots of Funderburg’s 2014 tweets, Outkick reported. She resigned not long after.
‘plz don let yo n***a down’ Funderburg, now 26, wrote in 2014. Two similar tweets were also revealed.
Although her account is now set to private, it’s been reported that Funderburg also posted another tweet, saying that any “person who thinks it’s funny to put out that Tennessee is asking fans to wear blackface is disgusting.”
Since her resignation, some fans have launched a Change.org petition to bring her back to the Vol Network. The petition has more than 1,000 signatures.
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