Profane comments aimed at Tigers basketball initiate investigation

Jason Smith (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Jason Smith (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Offensive comments aimed at the Memphis Tigers basketball program and players have sparked an investigation.

The comments have since been deleted, but they were posted on Instagram in the comment section under a post by the university's men's basketball team.

The comments include profane language and involve wishing death upon the team's players and/or coaches.

"The ugliest stuff, stuff you wouldn't expect to see. I mean, it's nasty stuff," sports radio host for 92.9 Jason Smith said. "You've got a couple of things at play: you've got an African-American coach, so that's at play. You've got a predominantly African-American basketball team. You hadn't seen anything like this with Pastner (former Memphis coach Josh Pastner) or with Cal (former Memphis coach John Calipari)."

That Instagram account, SamCobb71, has never posted a photo and doesn't have a bio.

"That's unacceptable," U of M senior Jasmin Richmond said.

"It's easier online because you're not held accountable," U of M freshman Dylan Gattuso said.

University of Memphis released the following statement about the comments:

The University of Memphis is actively working with law enforcement officials concerning offensive and threatening comments posted on the University of Memphis Men's Basketball Instagram account. We will have no additional comments while the case is under investigation.

"In terms of positives, it's what we're doing right now. It's you and I having this conversation. It's saying 'my gosh where does this come from,' trying to understand that. And saying that we can't let it get to this level," Smith said.

"We need to educate people not to view other people this way just because of the color of their skin," Gattuso said.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.