That’s What He Gets: HS Football Coach Suspended For Calling Michelle Obama ‘Fat Butt’

February 6, 2013  |  

Johnny Louis/wenn

It’s amazing how Americans get riled up over people trying to do things to actually help kids — and our health care system. Michelle Obama has been under somewhat consistent scrutiny for her “Let’s Move” campaign, targeted at tackling childhood obesity, but one Alabama High School football coach’s unnecessary verbal rants regarding her efforts have landed him a spot right inside of his home watching the days go by instead of on the field.

Apparently while discussing the FLOTUS’s goal of providing school kids with low-calorie lunches, Lauderdale County High School head football coach Bob Grisham referred to Mrs. Obama as “fat butt Michelle” and went on to add, “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight. I’m serious. Y’all, our country is, is, is going in the wrong direction.”

According to, the rant was caught on tape by a student and school administrators responded by putting Grisham on a 10-day suspension. With news also coming out that he openly called homosexuals “qu**r,” it’s hard to say how much of this reprimand has to do with the First Lady versus the expression of anti-gay sentiments, but it’s good to see discipline has been the swift response. When questioned about his comments on Michelle Obama, the coach simply said he “misspoke.”

We know all to well that this is hardly the first time the First Lady’s body, and specifically her behind, have been criticized. Unfortunately, this is probably one of the lesser incidences, considering much more public figures like Rush Limbaugh (surprise) and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have openly said disparaging remarks about Michelle Obama’s backside. When speaking to the Washington Post, Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science at Emory University, said these critics:

“are reacting to the culture in which they’ve grown up or they are using it as a code to racialize Michelle Obama and remind people that she’s black. It is unreasonable to expect a nearly 50-year-old woman to have the body of a 25-year-old. She looks great for her age.”

That point is further driven home by the realization that this criticism consistently comes from old White men (I’m assuming Grisham falls in that category) who still fail to realize the racial and political makeup of America is changing yet somehow still believe they can revert it back to what it once was — and old (white) boy’s club. Meanwhile White women, for the most part, are asking their personal trainers how they can get toned arms like the the First Lady’s, i.e., their efforts are backfiring. Though I’m personally disgusted at this negativity — and particularly the fact that it stems from the sentiment of who does this Black woman think she is to tell my child what he or she can and can’t eat, even though it will likely save them from medical issues down the line — I take comfort in knowing the comments haven’t affected Mrs. Obama in the slightest. Earlier in her FLOTUS days, the “Today” show asked her whether all of the focus on her physique has affected her body image. She replied:

“No, not really — but I thank God I’m 45 in this and not 35. I feel bad for young women going through the same thing, because [at that age] you don’t know who you are. I know what makes me happy. My message to women: Do what makes you feel good, because there’ll always be someone who thinks you should do it differently.”


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  • Born Free

    Is this a joke?…is this writer (a member of the free press) really condoning punishment for freedom of speech? You need to wake up, and smell the communism. Another president’s administration acted like this, and his name was Castro. “That’s what he gets”, until “he” is “you”…imagine if you were suspended for 10 days, for writing this article. Obviously, nobody in the new america is educated enough to know any sort of history. Has this writer ever been silenced?…well it seems this coach has…another willing & able attack on our Constitution, and this writer (a member of the free press) applauds it. The honest journalists who proceeded this journalist would turn in their graves, knowing you are writing against everything for which a free nation/press has struggled. What next?…should I be arrested or silenced for this opinion? Wake up, America!…put down the reality shows, and stop idolizing a loser society, where everyone gets a “participation trophy”. There are winners and losers in life, and if we aren’t careful, someone is going to take advantage of our mediocre attitude. And for Faith…I’m a white person, and you are a bigot. Congratulations on breaking the race barrier…generations struggled for freedom, just so you could become the person they struggled against. Maybe you should be silenced for your racist comments, along with the football coach…your comments are no less hateful than his. Go read a book.

  • FromUR2UB

    Soooo, he was checkin’ out her butt, hunh? Aha!

  • Lolita

    He sounds very suspect, all I thought about was first is he gay. My gaydar went off before I read the article then he’s making homosexual slurs. Yup a queen in hiding. She’s slim and very tall I’ve seen gay men online calling slim women fat. Also he said butt ummmm somebody is not coming across straight. He needs to stop being bitter and come out because its obvious he is upset and insecure.

  • ijs

    This man should NOT be suspended! This was his opinion- she’s fat (to him), not everyone is going to agree but everyone is entitled to there opinion AND it wasn’t racist

    • Angela J

      I’ll if the shoe was on the other foot like the previous person said, you can’t tell me he would not have been upset. It is amazing to me that whites can say whatever they want to say about degrading blacks it either freedom of speech or their opinion. Which is dumb and stupid.

    • sweettea

      you’re right hes entitled to his opinion but he expressed his opinion at work in front of students so the school is entitled to react as they see fit. Free speech only means he won’t go to jail for his opinion not that he can’t be fired for it

    • kia.gem

      He may have had the right to call her fat, but what right does he have to use homophobic slurs. Do you know just how severe bullying had become? Really, he was in the presence of his students…he should not be demeaning anyone in front of kids he is supposed to be a role model to. It may give one of those students that it is ok to say such things about and to people. Also, it is his right to express whether or not he believes the FLOTUS is overweight, but there is a way to say everything. I believe the suspension is justified.

    • I cannot stand when people throw the free speech line out there; it’s not a crime to express your opinion but you can face other consequences for expression. When on the job, you represent the employer as well. Being in front of students, that is not the appropriate time to express a demeaning opinion on the FLOTUS or really anybody for that matter.

  • tlynne

    I understand the First Lady wanting to curb childhood obesity, but some kids rely on those calories because they dont get very many meals at home. Kinda off topic but ijs.

    • Kenedy

      But they need to balance their caloric intake…. She’s advocating for exercise as well as healthy eating

      • Nikki

        A lot of the time, kids can’t play outside because they live in unsafe areas or they don’t have a local Boys & Girls club or recreation center. A lot of the time, their parents can’t afford to send them to dance classes or basketball, unless provided by the school.

        Even though I don’t like what he says, I commend Snoop Lion for starting that football league.

  • ieshapatterson

    MN is also forgetting how he called her a gorilla.besides,he’s only sorry because he got caught,not because he said it.

  • Gworl!

    What he said was so dumb! But at the same time he had every right to say it if that’s how he felt. There’s plenty of people who I don’t agree with but they have every right to their own opinion. If he really felt that way he should have just stood by it instead of backpedaling. I think that’s the worst part of people expressing their opinions lately, like even if its rude or mean stand by your word or don’t say it at all!

  • Faith

    I am so tired of these white people making stupid and ignorant remarks about blacks (particular black women) and later they apologize claiming that they didn’t mean it. NEWSFLASH! Just in case you were not informed or educated on it, yes you did, you meant every single word of it. Once again, I don’t buy any of their apologies and I don’t think they are sincere in their apology. Whites think they say whatever they want to say and get away with. But if the shoe was on the other foot, they would not want anybody to do that to them or their wives or daughters. They are all aware of everything they be saying about blacks. I know this is hard some blacks to believe, you think we don’t have stupid and ignorant whites in this world? This is another example of stupid and ignorant individual. This guy did not “misspoke” he meant every single word of it.

    • Hollander

      I don’t know why this guy isn’t fired. In their day having a “fat butt” was a black woman thing because white women were deficient. White men must not know that their women put implants anywhere they can fit them, tan their skin and wear just as much weave as anyone else. Their views are racist and his speech was divisive and he should not be teaching children.

    • MLS2698

      Proof of how black women are constantly treated as less than desirable. Take the same butt, or bigger, put it on Kim K, and wow! there are no insults about her FAT BUTT.

      • Kenedy

        Yep, or J-Lo…big booties are desireable on women of other races, but not on black women….smh

  • Say What?

    It’s always about being black. It stems from insecurity within ones self. I’ve hated a few people in my life, but never because of their race, but their personality and what they stood for.