Thursday, December 8, 2016

UPDATE: AFA coach's tweets spur demand for investigation

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 1:48 PM

click to enlarge The academy's chapel and iconic symbol. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The academy's chapel and iconic symbol.
A New York lawfirm representing Military Religious Freedom Foundation says it's already been contacted by a Defense Department Inspector General's Office investigator. From an email to MRFF shared with the Independent:
Earlier this afternoon, I spoke with the DoD/IG Investigator assigned to MRFF’s IG Complaint about a AFA football coach’s use of a Twitter account linked to the AFA’s Athletic Department for proselytizing his religion. I confirmed that I was their counsel on this matter and that MRFF did not desire that this be handled anonymously, as it is a matter of public interest especially since it is and has been an on-going issue at the AFA.
Moreover, it appears the academy has removed all twitter accounts of coaches from its athletics website.

————————-ORIGINAL POST 1:48 P.M. THURS., DEC. 8, 2016—————-

Citing the an Air Force Academy's football coach's use of Twitter to evangelize, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation submitted a request for an investigation to the Inspector General's Office on Wednesday.

Read the request here:
The coach, Steed Lobotzke, the letter says, "is using his official status as a government employee of the AFA to publicly proselytize his particular brand of fundamental Christianity.... he engages in this misconduct via what to any reasonable observer is his official AFA Twitter account."

A couple of examples of Lobotzke's tweets:
click to enlarge screen_shot_2016-12-08_at_1.21.30_pm.png
click to enlarge screen_shot_2016-12-08_at_1.21.24_pm.png
The MRFF says it represents five members of the academy's athletic department and three members of the football team who object to the tweets.

Here's the evidence also sent to the IG's office:

The Independent reported on this last week.

Lobotzke has since added a line on his Twitter account saying, "Tweets are my own views."

"That may be," the MRFF letter says, "but he is still AFA football "CoachLobotzke," and posting on behalf of the AFA's football team using their Twitter account."

We asked the academy last week for a comment and haven't received one. We were told earlier this week the academy is still putting together a response. If and when we receive it, we'll update.

Meantime, MRFF reports its attorney has been contacted by a DODIG investigator, indicating the case is being fast-tracked.

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