The teammate of a Penn State football player shared a letter on social media written by alumni of the school, blasting a Black player for wearing dreadlocks, calling them “awful hair.”
Penn State defensive end Antonio Shelton, took to Twitter to post a screenshot of a racist letter supposedly written by a graduate named Dave Petersen, who addressed it to “Johnathan” who is assumed to be junior safety Jonathan Sutherland, who wears locs, Yahoo reports.
“One of my teammates got this. Explain to me how this isn’t racist,” Shelton wrote.
One of my teammates got this. Explain to me how this isn’t racist. pic.twitter.com/Qms1F6DEEP
— Antonio Shelton (@_groovy55) October 7, 2019
The letter slams Jonathan for wearing dreads that peek out from under his helmet and was also critical of NFL players sporting tattoos.
Petersen also called for the school to change its dress code policy.
The letter states:
“Watching the Idaho game on TV we couldn’t help but notice your — well — awful hair. Surely there must be mirrors in the locker room! Don’t you have parents or girlfriend who’ve told you those shoulder length dreadlocks look disgusting and are certainly not attractive. (sic)
We congratulate you on your game against Pitt but you need to remember you represent all Penn Staters both current and those alumni from years past. We would welcome the reappearance of dress codes for athletes.
You will certainly be playing ‘on Sunday’ in the future but we have stopped watching the NFL due to the disgusting tattoos, awful hair and immature antics in the end zone. Players should act as though they’ve ‘been there before’. (sic)”
Another player, CJ Holmes, also shared the letter on social media, and criticized its author, calling it racially biased.
“my teammate got this in the mail today, and tbh Im at a lost for words.. I also have locs, Tats, and NFL dreams too, these messages can not be tolerated, this was extremely inappropriate, racially biased, and selfish to feel like you even have a right to send this message #WeAre”
my teammate got this in the mail today, and tbh Im at a lost for words.. I also have locs, Tats, and NFL dreams too, these messages can not be tolerated, this was extremely inappropriate, racially biased, and selfish to feel like you even have a right to send this message #WeAre pic.twitter.com/DPTp9Km9yt
— ㅤ (@CjHo1mes) October 7, 2019
Penn State, known for turning a blind eye to racism, and being a hub for controversy in recent years, hasn’t yet responded to the letter posted by players.
Sutherland hasn’t commented on the racist letter either.