Penn State alum sends letter to PSU football player saying he has ‘awful hair’

News

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Head Coach, James Franklin, opened his press conference Tuesday with a statement about the letter that was sent to Jonathan Sutherland criticizing his dreadlocks.

Antonio Shelton of the football team tweeted a picture Monday night of a letter his teammate received from an alum who says his teammate has ”awful hair”.

“My wife and I are proud ‘older’ graduates of Penn State,” the letter begins. “We follow all Penn State sports; football, wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball.”

The letter goes on to say: “Though the athletes of today are certainly superior to those in my days, we miss the clean cut young men and women from those days.”

“Watching the Idaho game on TV we couldn’t help but notice your – well – awful hair,” the letter says. “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.”

Here is Jonathan Sutherland, the Penn State football player who the letter was sent to.

The University responded back with a tweet that said they condemn this message or any intolerance.

“While we don’t know the source of this letter or the authenticity, obviously its content does not align with our values,” Penn State said in a tweet. “We strongly condemn this message or any message of intolerance.”

We were able to reach Dave Petersen, the man whose name is on the letter, and he told us “no comment.”

Petersen told the Tribune-Democrat that making a racist statement “was not the intent at all. I would like to see the coaches get the guys cleaned up and not looking like Florida State and Miami guys.”

Petersen also told the Tribune-Democrat that his letter “wasn’t threatening or anything. I was just disgruntled about some of the hairdos that we’re seeing. You think of Penn State as a bunch of clean-cut guys. And you do see so many who are clean cut. But that tattoos and the hair, there are a lot of guys with hair coming down their backs and it just looks awful. And it’s the same for the NFL and NBA too.”

Penn State Athletic Director, Sandy Barbour tweeted out a statement as well.

“I stand with our Penn State student athletes and appreciate how they represent PSU in competition, in the classroom and in the community,” the tweet says. “Their dress, tattoos, or hairstyle has no impact on my support, nor does their gender, skin color, sexuality or religion!”

Jonathan Sutherland also tweeted a response to the letter.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Fatal crash closes I-4 exit ramp in Plant City

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fatal crash closes I-4 exit ramp in Plant City"

the Vipers quarterback, Taylor Cornelius, took the majority of the snaps in practice on Wednesday

Thumbnail for the video titled "the Vipers quarterback, Taylor Cornelius, took the majority of the snaps in practice on Wednesday"

Polk woman helps Puerto Rican grandmother repair damage from earthquake

Thumbnail for the video titled "Polk woman helps Puerto Rican grandmother repair damage from earthquake"

Dunkin' Donuts burglary

Thumbnail for the video titled "Dunkin' Donuts burglary"

the Tampa Bay Vipers have their first home game of the season on Saturday

Thumbnail for the video titled "the Tampa Bay Vipers have their first home game of the season on Saturday"

Quinton Flowers says he has "a lot" of family and friends coming to the Vipers first home game

Thumbnail for the video titled "Quinton Flowers says he has "a lot" of family and friends coming to the Vipers first home game"

Safety systems in your car could save your life and some money

Thumbnail for the video titled "Safety systems in your car could save your life and some money"

3-story eatery 'Central Park Food Hall' coming to St. Pete

Thumbnail for the video titled "3-story eatery 'Central Park Food Hall' coming to St. Pete"

New sensory room at Hunter's Green Elementary

Thumbnail for the video titled "New sensory room at Hunter's Green Elementary"

Strong odor prompts evacuations at Clearwater apartment complex

Thumbnail for the video titled "Strong odor prompts evacuations at Clearwater apartment complex"

Ruskin man creates purple light display to honor mother fighting pancreatic cancer

Thumbnail for the video titled "Ruskin man creates purple light display to honor mother fighting pancreatic cancer"

Pinellas Co. Student taste-testing

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pinellas Co. Student taste-testing"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss