While the Tennessee Volunteers football program has returned to the national spotlight, University of Tennessee sports reporter and Vol Network sideline reporter Kasey Funderburg will not be there to cover it.
A Tennessee athletic department spokesperson told Knox News that she resigned from that role on Thursday. The 26-year-old UT graduate also served as an on-air host for VFL Films and weekly coaches call-in show “Vol Calls.” Her profile page on the UT website has been deleted.
She previously worked as a sideline reporter for digital basketball broadcasts on SEC Network+.
While the spokesperson would not confirm the reason for her resignation to Knox News, Outkick reported on Thursday that Funderburg was “fired after tweets showing her writing racist slurs were discovered.”
Per Outkick, the Twitter drama began when Funderburg responded to a Twitter account Richard G. West, known in the Tennessee sports world for trolling content. The account posted a tweet on Monday saying that as part of Tennessee’s blackout uniforms for Saturday’s game, “all fans will be asked to wear black clothes and paint their face all black as well.”
Funderburg replied to the tweet, warning Tennessee fans and criticizing the account.
“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,” wrote Funderburg, per Knox News (her Twitter account is currently locked and private).
Later in the Twitter thread, Fuberburg reportedly wrote “A person who thinks it’s funny to put out that Tennessee is asking fans to wear blackface is disgusting. This is where I stand.”
That’s when some Twitter accounts started posting old tweets from when Funderburg was a teenager in which she used the n-word.
As of Thursday, Funderburg’s social media accounts were locked.
While a Change.org petition to have Kasey return to her job has garnered over 1,000 signatures, that seems unlikely to have much impact, especially since, according to the school, she resigned.
Funderburg will be replaced as the radio sideline reporter by Knoxville radio host Jayson Swain when Tennessee takes on Kentucky on Saturday night.