Take one gander at Paul Roof, and you know immediately he sports a beard and mustache to be reckoned with.
No surprise, then, that he attended a beard and mustache competition in New Orleans last year — and had his photograph taken.
But here’s the thing: Roof is an associate sociology professor at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina, which is a Christian college and affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
And while it appears the brass at the school hasn’t minded Roof’s extra follicles on campus, it apparently does mind that his image was affixed recently to cans of beer aptly named Chucktown Follicle Brown from Holy City Brewing.
Indeed the powers that be mind enough that they fired Roof on Friday over the image, he told WCBD-TV in Charleston.
“My image and likeness, which I do not own, that I’ve never received compensation for,” he told the station, “and it was a surprise for me that it was put on a beer can by Holy City Brewing.”
Roof said he didn’t find out about his image on the cans until they were already in production.
“It’s been an emotional roller-coaster,” he told WCBD, adding that he met with his dean about the matter on Wednesday “and my answers were sufficient for him… but on Friday, I was called into the VP’s office, and that’s where I was terminated.”
The reason? “I was told that it was not representative of a Christian environment,” Roof told the station. “And for me a Christian environment entails two things: looking out for other people and forgiveness of others who’ve transgressed you.”
Roof noted that he’s received rousing support since he announced his firing on Facebook. “The response. Social media, from students that I had 15 years ago, eight years ago, has been overwhelming,” he told WCBD.
Roof won’t talk specifics about his firing because he said he’s consulting an attorney; WCBD asked the school for comment, but the station reported that the administration doesn’t discuss personnel matters.
This story has been updated.