As if the USC football program hadn't filled enough headlines this week, head coach Steve Sarkisian became the social media target of running back Anthony Brown Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Brown, a backup redshirt senior who played cornerback for the Trojans last season, was later confirmed to no longer be on the team as Sarkisian refuted the cl
But why did Brown post on his Facebook Wednesday night "Couldn't play for a racist man!!!!!!!!!!! #Fighton" and then post an orange photo on Instagram with white writing that read "Couldn't play for a racist man!!!!" with the caption "Sark treated me like a slave in his Office...Can't play for a racist MAN!!!!! #Fighton"?
(Both messages have since been deleted.)
What prompted the fifth-year USC Trojan to go on a rant directed at his head coach?
According to USC, Anthony Brown, who has been out with an injury for more than a week, quit the team last week, but Brown said he had a meeting with Sarkisian on Tuesday.
Here's what he told ATVN reporter McKenna Keil in a phone interview Thursday(transmuted from her tweets):
Anthony Brown told me over the phone that Sarkisian "was just going off the charts, he called me a coward several times. I never felt like that, 23 years old, and I've never been talked to like that. He said a lot of things that put me in a situation where I was belittled, like trash, like I'm nobody. He told me to get the f*** out of his office, I just got up and left and said yes sir, thank you ... I didn't quit."
I asked Brown if he wanted to try and resolve things with Sarkisian. Brown said, "I can't really talk to a guy who treats me like that. The way he talked to me was not respectful at all ... I felt like a slave. I wish somebody recorded it honestly. It was just so disrespectful, I was shocked.
Why did Brown feel Sarkisian was racist? "He [Sarkisian] was like stereotyping my family from Mississippi, the way he was using coward toward me, the way he was treating me. The way he was mentioning my mom and bringing my mom into the situation ... just everything. Honestly I walked out of his office like 'wow, did this really just happen' ... I was shocked, you know."
Anthony Brown later talked with TMZ and had even more scathing remarks on why he believed Sarkisian was racist:
"When I walked in the room he said, 'You have the f**king guts to walk in here -- coward."
Brown continues, "The way he was talking to me ... it was like a slave master talking to his slave."
According to Brown, Sarkisian never used the N-word or any other racial slur ... but feels the overall "tone" was racist.
Three weeks ago, USC held its first scrimmage of Fall Camp in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and I chatted with Anthony Brown about the decision to make a position switch to running back and how the transition to the offensive side of the ball was going.
The interview was for a story idea I had that never materialized. Nonetheless, Brown's answers about the switch to offense and his thoughts on Sarkisian are interesting in light of Thursday's events: