The Los Angeles Coliseum is a vast stadium, but there’ll be no room there for Marla Brown, a USC football booster, after the inflammatory tweets from her account Saturday during protests that affected Southern California as well as so many other cities in the U.S.
Brown no longer will be welcome at Southern California Trojans football games, according to athletic director Mike Bohn. USC revoked her season ticket privileges after an investigation into what he termed “abhorrent and blatantly racist tweets.” Bohn's message did not specifically identify Brown.
Racism and hate speech will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/Ariz9zkdJ1— Mike Bohn (@USC_mikebohn) June 1, 2020
On Friday, Brown’s account replied to a tweet from writer Tony Posnanski complaining about President Trump’s encouragement of the use of National Guard troops to address widespread protests regarding the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police with the comment, “Yes and they should be shooting the looters.”
Saturday afternoon, Brown’s account, which has since been deactivated, responded to a tweet from physician Eugene Gu by stating, in part, “People like you promote destruction. No wonder the black community never improves it’s lot. No responsibility. No consequences. At this point they deserve the result.”
As protests in Los Angeles were being described on Twitter by filmmaker Josh Ethier, Brown’s account responded with a tweet that declared “Shoot the protestors.”
And later Saturday, when one tweet said “DC is about to get overrun by Antifa,” Brown’s account stated, “Can’t wait. At last a reason to shoot them.”
There were several other such tweets, including one using the phrase “sand thugs."
When the University of Southern California athletic department was made aware that Brown’s Twitter bio identified her as “LAPD Union attorney, public sector labor and employment attorney, USC alum … football booster,” the people in charge knew they could address one of those. Bohn said Monday her Trojan Athletic Fund privileges had been revoked and payments returned. Her account is flagged to prevent future purchases.
Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., recently selected in the second round by the Indianapolis Colts, was in a photo with Brown taken following a Trojans game that was used as the profile photo for Brown’s Twitter account. He sent a tweet stating, “If you truly believe the things you have said, I politely ask you to take me out of your profile picture. This is disappointing, I know my true Trojan family would never. In times like this, it is important for us to stand together.”
@SoCalMAB if you truly believe the things you have said, I politely ask you to take me out of your profile picture. This is disappointing, I know my true Trojan family would never. In times like this, it is important for us to stand together. https://t.co/CH5aVAwiTz— MPJ (@MikePitt_Jr) June 1, 2020
Brown later replied to Pittman and apologized for her tweets, saying they were "made in a fit of anger at circumstances in general."
"It was a stupid thing to say," she wrote. "And wasn’t directed at anyone’s race. Just upset at all the destruction."