Mimi Groves is a championship winning cheerleader who was accepted into the University of Tennessee Knoxville in May. She was going to cheer for the University on the reigning champion team, however her dreams all came to an end when one student decided to take matters into his own hands.

When Groves was 15 years old, she filmed a video over Snapchat where she said a racial slur. The young white cheerleader said, “I can drive n—-s,” as she sat in her car in traffic, saying lyrics to a rap song. The video circulated some in her high school, Heritage High, but never caused much commotion. But after one student saw the video, Groves’s dreams quickly came to an end.

Jimmy Galligan is a young black man who was in Groves’s graduating class. When he saw the video he brought it to the administration’s attention. When the school failed to act, Galligan decided to hold onto the video and post it publicly when the time was right. 

Following the murder of George Floyd in late May, Groves took to Instagram to encourage others to, “protest, donate, sign a petition, rally, and do something” to help support the Black Lives Matter movement. 

This is when Galligan decided to strike. He posted the 2016 Snapchat video of Groves onto his Instagram account that afternoon, and it quickly spread across all forms of social media. Within two days, Groves had been kicked off of the University’s cheerleading team, and forced to withdraw admission from her dream college. 

Groves and her family were flooded with calls from angry students and pressured by administration officials to “take action.” 

The University issued a statement on June 4th. 

“The University of Tennessee has received several reports of racist remarks and actions on social media by past, present, and future members of our community. The university takes seriously our commitment to fostering a Volunteer community that values equity, inclusion, and that promotes respect for all people. We have a responsibility to support our black students and create a place where all Vols feel safe.

“On Wednesday, following a racist video and photo surfacing on social media, Athletics made the decision not to allow a prospective student to join the Spirit Program. She will not be attending the university this fall.”

Groves has publicly apologized for her language, and reportedly had apologized well before Galligan ever posted the video. “It disgusts me that those words would ever come out of my mouth,” Groves told the Times. ‘How can you convince somebody that has never met you and the only thing they’ve ever seen of you is that three-second clip?’

Groves now is taking online classes at a local community college.

Groves has even claimed she has been threatened with violence if she ever steps foot on the University of Tennessee’s campus. Galligan has expressed no remorse for posting the video, saying, “If I never posted that video, nothing would have ever happened,” he told the Times. “I’m going to remind myself, you started something. You taught someone a lesson.”

However there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for Groves. Last Sunday, mathematician James Lindsay took to Twitter to announce Mimi’s story isn’t over. “I have had a university president offer a full-tuition scholarship to Mimi Groves, since @UTKnoxville doesn’t want her. I would like to encourage other schools to step up to show that we refuse to condone incentivize the malicious behavior ruling our age.”

I just think we all should agree to not judge people by the way they spoke when they were 15. 

Hat Tip: The New York Times, DailyMail

Image Credit: Wikimedia


About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.