Penn State condemns letter calling football player’s dreadlocks ‘awful’

College Sports

HAPPY VALLEY, Pa. (WNCN) – Penn State is condemning a letter sent to a member of the football team saying his dreadlocks are “awful.”

Antonio Shelton, a defensive tackle for the Nittany Lions, posted an image of the letter to Twitter saying, “Explain to me how this isn’t racist.”

The letter was to addressed to junior safety Jonathan Sutherland.

The letter’s writer, who claims to be an “older” Penn State grad, said he misses the “clean cut young men and women from those days.”

The letter goes on to say the writer noticed the safety’s hair during Penn State’s game against Idaho.

“Surely there must be mirrors in the lockeroom,” the letter reads.

The writer said he would welcome a dress code for Penn State athletes so the school could be better represented.

“We have stopped watching the NFL due to the disgusting tattoos, awful hair and immature antics in the end zone,” the letter says.

The letter is signed “Dave Petersen.”

The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown Pennsylvania spoke with Petersen by phone. The 78-year-old said any racial insensitivity was not his intent.

Penn State head coach James Franklin opened his weekly press conference discussing the letter.

“The football that I know and love brings people together, and embraces differences,” Franklin said.

Sutherland has not publicly responded to the letter.

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