first_img“I did not intend my statements to be racist or directed at a race, but they have been interpreted that way,” Brown told the Daily Trojan. “And, as I said, it is probably my fault if they were misinterpreted because I wasn’t clear in what I was referring to … This is just me being stupid and careless about it.” The booster, identified as Marla Brown, sparked public outrage from USC and surrounding Los Angeles communities when her tweets, most of which were written Saturday, went viral Sunday. The Daily Trojan asked Brown for comment on that particular tweet.  In a Twitter direct message to the Daily Trojan, Pittman said he did not personally know Brown but that she had previously attended a Salute to Troy event, where fans can meet and take pictures with players and coaches.  “It’s just an observation that I wrote about based upon what I was seeing,” she said. “I don’t think that I’m the only person that shares that view. So it’s an observation that I made and a comment that I made — that I think the community could help each other if we do things peacefully and in a constructive way instead of rioting and looting, as you see what’s going on now.” USC Athletics says it notified the dismissed booster she is no longer allowed at football games or other events. (Daily Trojan file photo) One of Brown’s tweets came in a response to Dr. Eugene Gu, the founder of the anti-smoking organization Cool Quit, under an original tweet by Trump. Brown said that at the time she made the comments, she didn’t see them as racist and now wishes she had clarified that she was not referring to peaceful protesters, but rather to rioters and looters.  Brown responded to Pittman’s message by claiming that the tweets were “made in a fit of anger at circumstances in general” and were not “directed at anyone’s race.”  Brown identified herself as a Los Angeles Police Department union attorney and a USC football booster in her Twitter bio. Users responded to the original thread calling for others to report her to the California State Bar, but shortly after the tweets went viral on Sunday, she claimed she no longer worked for the LAPD union. Brown has since deleted her Twitter account.  “I’m embarrassed, I’m horrified at what I did and I’m sorry,” she said. “And the consequences are what they are.” “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the matter, we informed the individual that their season ticket and Trojan Athletic Fund membership privileges have been revoked and their payments will be promptly returned,” Bohn said in a statement on his Twitter. “Their account has been flagged in our system to prevent future purchases.”  The USC Athletic Department cut ties Monday with a USC football booster whose tweets athletic director Mike Bohn deemed “abhorrent and blatantly racist” in the wake of nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd.  “People like you promote destruction,” her message read. “It’s no wonder the black community never improves it’s lot. No responsibility. No consequences. At this point they deserve the result.” center_img “The athletic department did what I think they feel they had to do,” she said. “I think they should’ve reached out to me regardless of their decision — at least contacted me personally. But they didn’t.” The athletic department claimed it did contact Brown directly to inform her of the decision.  “Racism and hate speech will not be tolerated,” read the entirety of Bohn’s tweet accompanying an image of the statement. Brown’s tweets gained traction on the social media site when an unnamed user with the tag @TheStolenBeer tweeted a thread displaying several of Brown’s messages. They included, among other statements, calls for looters and protesters to be shot and for President Donald Trump to classify Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organization.  Brown agreed with Bohn’s characterization of the statements as “abhorrent.” “If you truly believe the things you have said, I politely ask you to take me out of your profile picture,” Pittman wrote in a retweet of the post by @TheStolenBeer.  Brown said she did not feel she was in a position to tell the athletic department whether or not it handled the situation properly by ending their relationship. Another USC football player, redshirt junior offensive tackle Jalen McKenzie, also expressed his disapproval of Brown’s posts.  “This is disappointing, I know my true Trojan family would never,” Pittman’s original tweet said. “In times like this, it is important for us to stand together.”  Several users called for the University to ban Brown from athletic events and cancel her booster status. One comment, which had 98 likes at the time of publication, read, “She’s only a fan of black lives when they’re entertaining her by playing football at USC.” “Yea if you’re like this don’t ask any of us for pics,” McKenzie commented in a retweet of the same viral expository post. Along with his statement announcing the consequences, Bohn thanked the USC community for helping draw attention to the tweets and emphasized the department’s solidarity with the Black community.  Brown’s since-deleted Twitter bio also described her as a “Fan of USC,” and her profile picture featured herself with former Trojan wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., a recent Indianapolis Colts draft pick. Pittman retweeted the viral post containing the screenshots of Brown’s messages and added a comment asking her to take down the photo. last_img