Fernando Bryant fired by high school over social media post

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Former Jaguars and Lions cornerback Fernando Bryant has been fired from his job as a high school coach over a seemingly innocuous photograph his wife posted on social media.

Strong Rock Christian School initially hired Bryant as a teacher and its head football coach, but then sent him a letter three weeks later telling him that he would not get the job.

“This letter will confirm that Strong Rock Christian School has made a decision not to move forward with your employment in the position of head coach of the football team and physical education teacher. As we discussed, after we made the offer to you, some within our parent community raised concerns regarding your family’s public presence on social media and the internet and questioned whether the postings and information were consistent with our Christian values. We’re sorry that our relationship had to end before it started. We wish you the best,” the letter stated, via Atlanta TV station 11 Alive.

Bryant says he’s baffled by the decision. The school did not tell him specifically what was posted on social media to get him fired, but he was led to believe it was a picture of himself and his wife holding a bottle of alcohol. Bryant said the school never told him employees weren’t allowed to drink alcohol.

“I’m a Christian, but that’s the one thing that gives Christianity a bad name, when we start passing judgment on one another,” Bryant said.

Bryant was the Jaguars’ first-round pick in the 1999 NFL draft. He played five seasons in Jacksonville and four in Detroit.

116 responses to “Fernando Bryant fired by high school over social media post

  1. “Drinking alcohol is forbidden and you’ll lose your job” almost seems like a joke coming from a group with leaders that molest children

  2. It’s their right to not hire him if they think a picture of him and his wife holding a bottle of alcohol on social media is not a good image for a Christian school.
    As for Christians passing judgement on one another, all religions do that. There isn’t one religion that doesn’t do it.
    All celebrities should have learned by now that social media is a place which can get them in trouble or project an image of them which might unintentionally shed a bad light on them.

  3. Man if I was bryant I would be suing the crap oUT of that school! Angry parents have waaaay too much leverage these days..over a 3 year old photo of his wife holding a liquor bottle from a company they where sponsored by? Come on! Big freaking deal Christian school but awful judgmental? If your a parent and you want to shelter your kids that much freaking home school them

  4. I hope this “school” does not receive any federal or state funding to educational institutions.

    This sort of stuff gives so-called “charter schools” a bad name — deservingly so.

  5. Although I disagree with the firing, I have to say that I’m baffled to see a grown man pose for a picture with his wife and a bottle of liquor. Am I the only one who finds that strange?

  6. If he was “fired” over his wife holding an alcoholic beverage, this must be Muslim school — Muslims to not consume alcoholic beverages. So-called Christian school ruled by Sharia law. Sad.

  7. Those schools take religion seriously, if you work there you may not want to post pictures of you openly sinning on the internet for everyone to see…….Sounds like common sense to me.

    With his lack of common sense, glad he’s not teaching my kid.

  8. To expand on Loudpackmatt’s reply

    Part of the story is missing.

    It was on his wifes instagram from THREE years ago and Bryant said they did a several month long background check on both he and his wife. Even having his wife come in and have an interview herself, before they even hired Bryant. Then a parent (for some reason) was checking his wifes instagram (kind of weird if you ask me) and found the picture, brought it to the attention of the school (Which they already knew about the photo from the background checks) and decided they should relieve Bryant of his duties.

    Just to help all the people that are calling him an idiot for what he did, he did nothing wrong, just wanted you guys to get the whole story.

    Again, I agree with loudpackmatt in that parents have to much leverage and should quit sheltering kids, it’s pretty sad to see.

  9. Also, go to any high school teachers Facebook, I bet you won’t see any pictures of them getting drunk, smoking, or them being in compromising positions. Keep that stuff private or at least off social media.

    This is all common sense people.

  10. #Staystrongstrongrockchristian

    What a bunch of koolaide losers. Tell me again how they believe in the teachings of Christ?? LOL! Bryant, you are better off getting the hell out of there.

  11. It must be hard walking through life that repressed. Adults drink. That whole faculty drinks. The kids know it. It’s not like it was a pic of him hurling up margaritas in a public trash can. It’s their right, but it’s pretty weak.

  12. Those schools take religion seriously, if you work there you may not want to post pictures of you openly sinning on the internet for everyone to see…….Sounds like common sense to me
    ———-

    Drinking alcohol is a sin? Which commandment is that covered under?

  13. But it’s okay for a guy who “identifies as a woman” to waltz into a women’s bathroom, pee all over the toilet seat and leave. Yup. This all makes perfect sense. Good job, society.

  14. Well I guess the Strong Rock Christian School is gonna have to fold up when they read the Bible and find out that Jesus turned water into wine.

  15. This school probably thinks a posting of ‘The Last Supper’ is “a bad look”… Since the man in the middle of a social gathering is raising a chalice of wine for all to see.

  16. sportoficionado says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:48 AM
    Although I disagree with the firing, I have to say that I’m baffled to see a grown man pose for a picture with his wife and a bottle of liquor. Am I the only one who finds that strange?
    ________________

    If you had taken a moment to look you wouls have found out the picture was taken at a sponsor’s event and the distiller was the one of the sponsors

  17. …”that’s the one thing that gives Christianity a bad name, when we start passing judgment on one another”.

    Uhhh, that’s pretty much the essence of Christianity, in case you hadn’t noticed.

  18. It is a good thing there no pictures of that teacher that changed water into wine. He wouldn’t be allowed to work at that school.

  19. School never said it was against drinking. Drinking a glass of wine and drinking to drinkeness arent the same thing. Jesus drank wine, if he existed at all.

    He turned down jobs to work for these sanctimonious jerks. Hope he sues the pants off of them.

    Although it kind of serves him right for being in a brainwashing cult. “Religion began when the first conman met the first fool.”- Mark Twain

  20. So he is at a corporate sponsored event with his wife and the sponsor takes a picture of him holding an un-opened bottle and he gets canned from that? Fernando, you are better off as they would of canned you anyway and sounds like the type of school that would write you up for being a black man on a sunny day.
    Those are not Christian values there promoting and you are a better person for your response to this nonsense than there reasoning.
    Good luck with your future sir, sounds like things will work out for you for the better.

  21. The purpose of religious “schools” isn’t education, but rather indoctrination to an ideology.

    Whenever reality bumps up against the prevailing ideology, the reality is smited by their godhead’s sword.

    Fernando Bryant is lucky, it could have been worse.

    So it goes.

  22. “…but that’s the one thing that gives Christianity a bad name”

    ——————————

    There is a long list of things that give Christianity a bad name.

  23. nyneal says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:37 AM
    It’s their right to not hire him if they think a picture of him and his wife holding a bottle of alcohol on social media is not a good image for a Christian school.
    —————————
    Well then, it’s a good job there was no asocial media back when Jesus turned water into wine! Or at the Last Supper – and a good job no one at that school ever heard of Communion wine or ever read the Bible in which St. Paul recommends Timothy “use a little wine” to ease his ailments. The Bible only warns against drinking to excess.

  24. This is why I don’t like or follow religion.

    Always trying to butt into everyone’s personal lives with their moral authority.

    Tell me again why I can’t buy booze from the store pn Sunday?

  25. It is a strange picture but without knowing the context its hard to say. Maybe it was gift?

    I hope he sues the crap out of those self righteous hypocrites too.

  26. Things like this give Christianity a bad name. First of all, it’s not a sin to drink alcohol. Jesus drank wine. It would be nice if Christian churches and schools would have a better understanding (or more accurate understanding) of proper doctrine.

    My pastor brews his own beer. He doesn’t get drunk (that’s a sin), but enjoys a nice adult beverage from time to time. And he makes a mean bourbon barreled porter too.

  27. traptses says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:36 AM
    “Drinking alcohol is forbidden and you’ll lose your job” almost seems like a joke coming from a group with leaders that molest children

    You’re lumping every Christian together with the Catholic Church. Catholic Church – institutionalized pedophilia. Christianity – the belief in, and desire to be like Christ.

  28. I’m sure legally the school can do what it wants, but IF he got fired for a picture of him and his wife with a bottle of alcohol then he should be thankful he’s not working at that school watching his every move. I’d go to their biggest rival and offer to work for less, then try to crush them on the football field.

  29. I went to a Christian middle school, high school and college. They all had rules against alcohol for students AND teachers. This shouldn’t have been surprising. It’s not about alcohol being a sin (it’s not), it’s about setting guidelines and being an example to the students. The school wasn’t “judging” this guy. That word is way too often misunderstood.

  30. The school has every right to fire or refuse to hire someone based on alcohol consumption or whatever reason they want but the least they can do is tell you those conditions up front.

  31. dawgturd says:
    Feb 23, 2017 6:10 AM
    “Those schools take religion seriously, if you work there you may not want to post pictures of you openly sinning on the internet for everyone to see…….Sounds like common sense to me.

    With his lack of common sense, glad he’s not teaching my kid.”

    Since when was drinking alcohol a SIN? I missed that one. Glad I don’t go to YOUR church!

  32. Two quick thoughts:

    1st: Heavy use of social media is bad news for anyone. There is no reason to post everything about one’s life online for others to sift through and find incriminating information.

    2nd: The school did you a favor. If it wasn’t something stupid like this, they find another stupid thing to mess with your life. Find a better job with a reputable organization, not founded on tall tales from 2000 years ago.

  33. sportoficionado says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:48 AM
    Although I disagree with the firing, I have to say that I’m baffled to see a grown man pose for a picture with his wife and a bottle of liquor. Am I the only one who finds that strange?

    Apparently, yes.

    Yes your employer can judge you but I don’t think that is his point. It is what you are judged for. I for one am also tired of the holier-than-thou attitude of some of these folks. Last I checked, Jesus didn’t think that way. And last I checked, alcohol wasn’t illegal in this country.

    Mr. Bryant – find a better school to represent you and your values. You don’t need them.

  34. traptses says:

    “Drinking alcohol is forbidden and you’ll lose your job” almost seems like a joke coming from a group with leaders that molest children
    ===============================

    It’s not a Catholic school.

  35. sportoficionado says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:48 AM
    Although I disagree with the firing, I have to say that I’m baffled to see a grown man pose for a picture with his wife and a bottle of liquor. Am I the only one who finds that strange?
    ————————————————————–

    It was a picture holding the bottle for a sponsor. It wasn’t something he was just doing on his free time while relaxing at home.

    These same knuckle heads will fire a coach for posing for a picture while holding the product of a sponsor because parents in a State that largely voted for a president who talked about grabbing women by the privates got upset. Good to know where our priorities fall.

  36. “Bryant said the picture was taken three years ago at an event for Bemagazine, an internet magazine. He said they were taking the picture for sponsors.”

    Wow. You’re gonna fire him for taking a picture for sponsors 3 years ago??? The parent that reported this to the school get a life, because I would guess you’ve probably done worse in the last 3 years than that.

  37. The thing that confuses me most, is that in another article it is stated that you must be a born again christian to attend the school. Most people that I know that are born again Christians had pasts that would make that picture look awfully tame if they had been chugging out of the bottle.

  38. I feel bad for the guy..Bryant could have had a good connection with those kids..those schools always have to hire the person that fits into there little square box..what about accepting people for who they are? He hasnt broken the law what am I missing here

  39. they are talking about baptist christians not catholics at least get the religion right
    traptses says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:36 AM
    “Drinking alcohol is forbidden and you’ll lose your job” almost seems like a joke coming from a group with leaders that molest children

  40. Bryant consider yourself lucky that this relationship ended before it started…..doesn’t sound like the place I would want to be associated with, they would tarnish your reputation, not the other way around….

  41. Their coveted guy became available. Anyone can see that this was a change in direction based on another candidate. Bryant will not be unemployed long if he’s willing to move. This will ironically be his “blessing” in disguise. Pun intended on the Christian extremist school. I bet at least 10 teachers are screwing another teacher. At least a half dozen are in extramarital affairs and 85% of the parents need wine to cope with their rigid lives.

  42. Although I disagree with the firing, I have to say that I’m baffled to see a grown man pose for a picture with his wife and a bottle of liquor. Am I the only one who finds that strange?
    _________

    Like how every wedding album has pictures of the toast and the champagne just to pick one very common example? I find it strange that you find it strange.

  43. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, needs to stay off of social media. Nothing good ever comes from posting things on social media. NOTHING. EVER.

  44. loudpackmatt says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:44 AM
    Man if I was bryant I would be suing the crap oUT of that school! Angry parents have waaaay too much leverage these days..over a 3 year old photo of his wife holding a liquor bottle from a company they where sponsored by? Come on! Big freaking deal Christian school but awful judgmental? If your a parent and you want to shelter your kids that much freaking home school them

    _______________________________________

    This post sounds like a young person who gave their parents a tough time trying to teach them right from wrong.
    Parenting has never been harder than it is today. I drive a school bus and many of the kids don’t have respect for themselves or anyone else, and it starts at a surprisingly young age.
    And in spite of what you said and all those who agree with what you said, it is absolutely the right of an organization — religious or otherwise — to employ people who exemplify their standards.
    I learned something my dad used to say is true: the older I get, the smarter my parents get. You need to learn that, too.

  45. sportoficionado says:
    Feb 23, 2017 9:36 AM
    Ok the article did not mention it was a sponsor and from 3 years ago, that changes it to an unacceptable firing.
    +++++++++++++++

    All you had to do before sniping at him was read what was posted at the linked site. You know, the one you would have had to go to in order to see “a grown man pose for a picture with his wife and a bottle of liquor” that you referenced in your first post.

  46. feckyerlife says:
    Feb 23, 2017 9:50 AM
    they are talking about baptist christians not catholics at least get the religion right
    traptses says:
    Feb 23, 2017 5:36 AM
    “Drinking alcohol is forbidden and you’ll lose your job” almost seems like a joke coming from a group with leaders that molest children

    _________________________________________

    Oh — so all Christian leaders molest children? Give me a break!
    I’ve got news for you. Bad people are in every walk of life, including sports reporting. Read about former sports writer Bill Conlin, for instance.

  47. dawgturd says:
    Feb 23, 2017 6:10 AM
    Those schools take religion seriously, if you work there you may not want to post pictures of you openly sinning on the internet for everyone to see…….Sounds like common sense to me.
    With his lack of common sense, glad he’s not teaching my kid.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Openly sinning? Having his picture taken while holding a packaged bottle of a sponsors product at a magazine’s sponsor gathering from 3 years before he was hired is sinning? You know what’s a real sin? Blindly slamming someone without even bothering to inform yourself when the link was right there.

    With your lack of common sense and willingness to shoot first and ask questions later it’s a shame you are teaching your kid.

  48. joker65 says:
    Feb 23, 2017 6:44 AM
    Those schools take religion seriously, if you work there you may not want to post pictures of you openly sinning on the internet for everyone to see…….Sounds like common sense to me
    ———-

    Drinking alcohol is a sin? Which commandment is that covered under?
    ___________

    Yes, heavy drinking is. Not sure of the Bible verse, googled it if u care enough.

  49. Laughing at the idiots here who cry discrimination and stop federal funding. The private school in Georgia DOES NOT HAVE state nor Federal funding. And they can hire and or fire for any reason. This former player is a fool if he thinks it’s ok to go on Facebook boozing it up and being a member of a Christian school.
    Can’t fix stupid.

  50. He exercised poor judgment, as his position deals with minors. Was his social media account hacked? No. The school is within its rights. You can’t claim to be a good example at work and claim to be other than that in social media or in your so-called ‘private’ life. There’s one excuse: his wife posted it without his permission, or he knew about it after the fact, and in either case he moved to delete it.

  51. It was on his wife’s Instagram account. He was holding the alcohol because the company was some sort of sponsor according to a local newspaper article I read.

    The school should have asked him. How ridiculous.

    Way to teach about Christianity there people, by not giving a hearing and jumping to judgment. Truly impressive!

  52. To all my Facebook friends: I appreciate hearing from you. But I really don’t care for the daily updates regarding your eating habits. The pics of your meals, the pics of the menus, the maps to the restaurants, really? Seriously? It’s a bit over the top. I don’t care!

    I agree with the above post stating that social media is the self addictive obsession of personal image. Please, get a life#

  53. chuckshontaspads says:
    Feb 23, 2017 10:33 AM
    A guy named “dawgturd” agrees with the firing! Only in America.
    _______________

    God Bless America!

  54. While it is clearly the within the rights of said school to not continue in the employment relationship with Bryant for his behavior on social media, one has to wonder if it had been made clear as to what is and is not acceptable in social media.
    If this is a concern that the kids may see this, I cannot also help but wonder if the school scours each and every internet move made by the students themselves?
    It sounds to me like the school had some buyers remorse for some reason (possible backlash from some parents that pay and donate?)
    In any case, the ones who truly lose out are the students. In a day and age where athletes, and specifically, black male athletes are often thought to be problematic off the field, Here is one who not only seemed to find success off the field in terms of being a solid human being, but the profound effect he could have had on those he taught or coached, as well as those in the school, will be missed by them.
    Its funny also that a place of education inspired by the teachings of God, charge more, put more pressure on making donations yet doesnt really offer a better education than public schools.
    They just get to selectively and “legally” discriminate against those that they want to.

  55. @filmex2000 – Judgment of others is not the essence of mainstream Christianity. The only judgment discussed is the ultimate judgment after death. Perhaps you, and some of the lunatic “Christians”, missed the part about casting the first stone?

  56. It happens in public schools, not just private. What’s funny is it is easier to explain a DUI in the past than social media photos. When I was a high school teacher we were briefed on this exact problem. As a new teacher, you can be fired for being seen with alcohol if someone has a problem with it.

    Trust me when I say that made running into parents at Happy Hour a scary experience and one I learned to avoid very quickly (driving an extra 20-30 minutes to a very different part of town).

  57. So Jesus can turn water into wine for guests at a wedding he’s attending… but don’t you dare take a photo holding any such libations!

    (though are we sure that’s really what the ‘non hire’ was for… sounds like there is some uncertainty about it since the school didn’t tell him. He was “led to believe” … by who?)

  58. The official reason he got fired , for that picture, is pathetic. Yes employers are ultimately allowed to fire employee’s over seemingly harmless things I get it. This just seems beyond comprehension that the picture in question is enough to worry parents or whomever complained. Forget all the good things about this man’s character and the two college coaching offers he turned down to be at this school…there’s got to be more to this.

  59. Suppression of thought and ideas and a belief that science is little more than an inconvenient truth. It’s the “Christian” way.

    Isn’t it time that we all grow up a little and stop believing in fantasies created 2, 000 to 5,000 years ago? I know people are going to say, “What about this group or others like it”? My response is that it’s time for all of us to live in the present and examine ways to break down barriers that keep us apart. I think our religious beliefs would be a good place to start.

  60. Btw, just to add to my earlier wine-is-ok-in-the-bible comment, some teetotalers today disingenuously claim that the “wine” in the Bible might be unfermented (i.e. non-alcoholic) grape juice rather than wine. The problem with that re-interpretation is two-fold:

    1) throughout Christian doctrines from its earliest times, wine has always meant wine and that Jesus etc drank it – why else would the Bible warn against drinking too much of it if it was just juice?

    2) Fermenting juice into wine gave it shelf-life – juice would not last long enough in hot climates to be traded like wine back before refridgeration. And in many countries back before safe water there was a tradition of giving kids watered-down wine much like we might do with squash or juice today. The alcohol flavored but also helped make the water safer for them to drink. This is also why we have IPA beer – originally a weaker ale brewed by the British for their troops in India because it was safer to drink than water.

    Bottom line – alcohol in moderation is not a sin. As in the words of Ben Franklin “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

  61. And this is the PC world we live in now. If that’s how that school operates, you’re better off elsewhere man. Funny thing is that parent that complained their kid probably drinks and smokes pot. LOL!

  62. Horrible decision by “Strong ChristiaN Rock.”

    What next SCN, you go total 1984 on your employees and dictate who they marry, what churches they attend, who they vote for, how many children they can have, what cars they can drive, sexual activity?

    Bryant, consider yourself lucky. You got out of this cult before you became enslaved.

  63. That is Garbage not the Christianity that I know A real Christian school should swoop Fernando up in a hurry

  64. Jesus, Fernando was such a solid corner. Man could he run…father God and sunny Jesus. Shame what happened to him. That’ll be sixty five cents, kid.

  65. ha hahhahhaaa to all the troll replies to my prior comment. It IS strange to pose in a picture with a bottle of liquor, WHEN you are a grown man–even stranger to do it with your wife…but again he should not have been fired.

  66. Well, at least we know now that they don’t have any alcohol at their faculty Chrustmas parties.

  67. @dawgturd: It’s 2017.

    Join us in the present and please let everyone know who got your vote this year.

    I can almost guarantee that you voted for the kitty grabbing Drumph.

    ‘Fess up old man. It’s reckoning time.

    Carry on.

  68. Muslims do not recognize Jesus as the son of God.

    Christians do not recognize Muhammad as a prophet.

    And apparently the faculty of Strong Rock Christian School do not recognize each other in the liquor store.

  69. I’m sure some fine Christian can show me in the bible where it says you can not consume alcoholic beverages.

    Or did these folks make it up?

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