Kele Inc., a building products supply company headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., has apparently fired an employee for condoning Alabama receiver Jermaine Burton striking a female Tennessee fan on the field Saturday after Tennessee’s 52-49 win over Alabama at Neyland Stadium.
“I am glad he did it,” a person said on Twitter on Tuesday in reference to Burton’s swat of the female fan. “Should have knocked her head off. Not supposed to be on the field anyway.”
@KeleSolutions, the Twitter handle of Kele Inc., responded Wednesday afternoon by saying, “Kele does not stand for or tolerate offensive or hateful comments toward any group or individual. We take this issue very seriously, and as a result, Kele and this employee have parted ways.”
OutKick contacted Kele Inc. on Wednesday twice and was directed to Human Resources and to Marketing. Neither department confirmed that Kele Inc. had fired someone for a tweet condoning Burton’s behavior after the game.
A person identified as a Kele Inc. employee tweeted on Tuesday the tweet below in reference to Burton’s action.
Kele Inc. did not confirm or deny that a Steve Lemmons was, or is, one of its employees, or that anyone was fired.
OutKick founder Clay Travis tweeted about the Burton incident Tuesday night.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban said Wednesday night that any decisions regarding Burton would be handled in house.
“We handle discipline issues internally, and that’s the way we’ll handle this,” Saban said at his usual Wednesday night press conference. “Respect other people. That’s on us to do that, and that’s certainly a lesson for all of us to learn relative to this.”
A statement by Saban was released by Alabama’s sports information department Wednesday morning after learning of the incident via OutKick’s Trey Wallace breaking the story Tuesday night.
“We are aware of the situation with Jermaine Burton as he was exiting the field Saturday,” Saban said in the release. “We are currently working together to gather more information.”
Saban was asked about the incident on the weekly SEC coaches’ teleconference later Wednesday morning.
“I think it’s a difficult situation for the league,” he said when asked about crowd control in general as the field has been stormed the last six times Alabama has lost on the road.
“I think it’s a difficult situation for all of us that are in the situation,” he said. “We certainly don’t condone any mistreatment of anybody whether they should or shouldn’t be there. I think you have to have respect for other people, but at the same time it’s a difficult situation for all of us.”
Trouble With Transfers At Alabama
Burton, a junior transfer from Georgia’s national championship team that beat Alabama in the title game last year, is the second high profile NCAA Transfer Portal addition for Alabama to be a discipline issue for Saban.
Junior cornerback Eli Ricks, a transfer from LSU after the 2021 season, was arrested last spring for speeding in a Mercedes, driving without insurance and for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Laurel, Miss. Ricks, a native of the Los Angeles area who was one of the most highly recruited prep cornerbacks in the nation in 2020, has played sparingly at Alabama this season.
In four games, he has two tackles, and he recently changed his Instagram picture, putting himself in an LSU uniform, possibly suggesting that he may want to transfer back to LSU.
Burton, who is from Calabasas, California, in the Los Angeles area, is fifth in receiving at Alabama this season with 18 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns. He led all Georgia wide receivers last season with 26 receptions for 497 yards and five touchdowns. As a freshman in 2020, he caught 27 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns.