STARKVILLE — Mike Leach’s twitter saga continued Tuesday as Mississippi State Athletic Director John Cohen issued a statement on the subject.
“No matter the context, for many Americans the image of a noose is never appropriate and that’s particularly true in the South and in Mississippi,” Cohen said in a news release. “Mississippi State University was disappointed in the use of such an image in a tweet by Coach Mike Leach. He removed the tweet and issued a public apology.”
Cohen also noted that Leach will meet with student, alumni and community groups as a chance to expand his cultural awareness of Mississippi. As part of this plan, Leach is slated to take a guided visit to the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson when restrictions from the COVID-19 crisis allow.
A source with immediate knowledge of the situation also told The Dispatch Monday that he has already had multiple meetings with the team and his staff — including one-on-one conversations with a handful of players — to discuss the matter.
“The university is confident that Coach Leach is moving quickly and sincerely past this unintended misstep and will provide the leadership for our student athletes and excitement for our football program that our fans deserve and that our students and alumni will be proud to support,” Cohen added.
MSU’s response comes five days after Leach tweeted an image that depicted a wife knitting a noose for her husband. The tweet was met with backlash from the public and a number of Bulldog football players.
Among those that took notice, redshirt freshman Fabien Lovett subsequently entered the transfer portal just one day after Leach released the controversial image.
“I sincerely regret if my choice of images in my tweets were found offensive,” Leach wrote last week. “I had no intention of offending anyone.”
Ben Portnoy reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @bportnoy15.
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