Mississippi State Beat Writer Matthew Stevens Fired In Aftermath Of Disparaging Comments About Lafayette
According to his twitter account, Mississippi State beat writer Matthew Stevens was fired today from his post with The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Mississippi. Stevens was let go in the aftermath of his disparaging comments about Lafayette.
During his internet radio show last week, Stevens went on a 6+ minute rant about why his trip to Lafayette to cover the NCAA baseball regional was the worst experience of his life.
Below is a list of a few remarks made by Stevens about Lafayette and its community.
“It’s not [America]…I spent 90 minutes driving around and didn’t find one decent place to live.”
"I'm not gonna say...that they're not people...but I don't know what they are."
“If Obama wants to cut Louisiana from the union tomorrow, we are better off as people.”
Once Stevens comments began to spread across the internet, the backlash among Lafayette, Stevens' editor and boss, and Mississippi State fans, began to snowball.
I received a number of e-mail from Starkville from individuals who wanted to clearly separate themselves from the comments.
"As a Mississippi State student, Stevens' comments are an embarrassment to us. We don't condone his words at all," said one e-mailer.
We also received a number of tweets like this one from Abigail.
Last Thursday, Stevens joined my co-worker Jay Walker on Bird's Eye View. Sounding contrite and emotional, Stevens issued an apology. You can hear it, as well as his explanation, below.
Jay accepted Stevens apology, explaining in deep detail his reasons why, while also inviting Stevens to come to Lafayette for a Ragin' Cajun football game this Fall. Stevens was invited to see more of Lafayette, meet plenty of Cajuns, and stay in a nice hotel. He accepted the offer.
I'm only speaking for myself, but I hope Stevens lands on his feet. While I cringed the first time I heard his comments, the young man appears both remorseful, and accepting of the consequence.
When Stevens comes to visit us this Fall, let's all show him what Cajun culture is about. Tradition, food, family, forgiveness, and plenty more descriptions that I could fill this page with.
[UPDATE: Stevens shares his final summary about his termination via his facebook page]