On Sunday, Katie Moody, an employee at the School of Medicine and a Hopkins alumna, tweeted “Hey, Smith, how about you call your bro and tell him all about your wi—ohhhh. Wait. #TooSoon?” in reference to Baltimore Raven’s wide receiver Torrey Smith. The tweet came after Smith caught two touchdown passes in Sunday’s game against the Patriots which the Ravens won 31-30. Smith played in the game despite having found out that his younger brother, Tevin Jones, was killed in a motorcycle accident the night before.
Moody followed up that tweet with another: “The Pats may have lost but at least none of them lost a family member. I’d say that’s a win.”
Though Moody’s tweets about Smith have garnered her the title “Most Hated Woman In Baltimore,” her actions will have no disciplinary consequence from Hopkins, University spokesman Dennis O’Shea said.
“It was her personal email account, it was not anything that she did to drag Hopkins’ name into it,” O’Shea said. “Other people, apparently, looked into her background and found the Hopkins connection, but she did not bring the Hopkins connection in.”
In light of the negative media attention, Moody, who was not accepting emails, released a statement of her own.
“I profoundly regret my thoughtless, tasteless and completely inappropriate comment, and I deeply lament the pain that it has caused,” she wrote. “I would like to apologize to Torrey Smith, his family, friends and everyone who was distressed by what I said. I should have been offering sympathy and compassion for such a terrible and heart-breaking loss. I set high standards for myself as a person and as a fan, and I fell short of these standards. This was a horrible lapse in judgment that I will always regret. I am truly sorry.”
Initially, there was confusion over how @katiebrady12 was associated with Hopkins.
However, her tweets quickly went viral and the story was picked up on by local bloggers. It has since been covered in USA Today, The Baltimore Sun and ESPN, and has prompted a substantial outcry on Twitter itself.
Calls and emails began to be sent to various University offices calling for disciplinary action. An email account that was circulated on twitter that purported to be that of Moody’s boss actually belonged to Vice Provost for Institutional Equity Caroline Laguerre-Brown at the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).
According to their website, the OIE is a University entity, which inherently assures that the University’s programs and procedures comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations as they relate to affirmative action, equal opportunity and disability issues.
Since the initial incident, the OIE has received several emails, but no phone calls.
“Other than the vice provost who has gotten 174 emails, I have not heard of anyone else who has gotten a staggering amount,” O’Shea said.
The University does not view Moody’s actions as a problem of brand association, as she did not bring Hopkins into the conversation—it was others who looked into her background to make the connection.
There is no language in any staff code of conduct that deals with social media in this capacity.
“The was an issue for Katie Moody to address, and she addressed it,” O’Shea said.