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Commissioner Apologizes for Calling UGA President a ‘Punk’

Commissioner Russell Edwards.

Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Russell Edwards released a statement apologizing for calling UGA President Jere Morehead a “punk” in a speech at a Sept. 19 protest of UGA’s coronavirus response.

As reported in the Flagpole, I lost my temper at the Arch the other day. While I disagree with aspects of President Morehead’s handling of the Coronavirus, it was wrong for me to attack him personally. I apologize to my constituents and President Morehead for my insults. All of us are struggling in some way through this pandemic. As I thought of my son forced to learn on an iPad with public schools closed, I simply reached a breaking point and spoke wrongly. We can disagree over policy, but hurling insults like I did is counterproductive to cooperation. I’m sorry for letting my temper get the best of me.”

Edwards has frequently been critical of both UGA and Gov. Brian Kemp for what he believes are insufficient efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. For example, Morehead recently laid the blame for the pandemic on the ACC government for not enforcing regulations at bars when Kemp’s executive order prevents local governments from doing much.