A Penn State football player was criticized by a fan for his hairstyle. Nittany Lions defensive back Jonathan Sutherland received a letter from PSU alum Dave Peterson that said, among other things, "those shoulder length dreadlocks look disgusting."
Petersen also wrote, he and his wife, who is also an alum, misses the "clean cut young men and women" from his days at the college.
Sutherland's teammate, Antonio Shelton, posted the letter on his Twitter account.
One of my teammates got this. Explain to me how this isn’t racist. pic.twitter.com/Qms1F6DEEP— Antonio Shelton (@_groovy55) October 7, 2019
This was the Penn State response.
We strongly condemn this message or any message of intolerance. The content of the letter does not align with our values, as we have previously stated.— Penn State (@penn_state) October 8, 2019
And here is the reaction of Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour.
I stand with our Penn State student athletes and appreciate how they represent PSU in competition, in the classroom and in the community. Their dress, tattoos, or hairstyle has no impact on my support, nor does their gender, skin color, sexuality or religion! #WeAre #ONETEAM🦁— Sandy Barbour (@SandyB_PSUAD) October 8, 2019