A Penn State football player shared a critical letter his teammate received from an alumnus who criticized the teammate’s dreadlocks as “awful” and “disgusting.” Defensive tackle Antonio Shelton posted a photo of the letter to Twitter on Monday, writing, “Explain to me how this isn’t racist.” Shelton did not name the recipient, but the letter was addressed to Jonathan — and the only player on the team with that name is junior safety Jonathan Sutherland, who wears his hair in long dreadlocks. (Sutherland later confirmed he was the recipient.)

… The letter was signed by Dave Petersen, who identified himself and his wife as “older” graduates of the school who were upset by Sutherland’s hair. Petersen told a local newspaper that he did not intend to make a racial statement with his letter: “I would just like to see the coaches get the guys cleaned up and not looking like Florida State and Miami guys.” Peterson told the paper he is a 1966 graduate of the university and a former season ticket holder. He added, “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 the 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.”



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