PSU Coach Responds to ‘Racist’ Letter Sent to Player

Angry Penn State fan sends nasty letter telling Jonathan Sutherland to cut his dreadlocks

We're a family. Penn State football, Penn State University, Happy Valley provide the same opportunity to embrace one another 12 Saturdays each fall.

African American players on the team, who hear and see comments similar to Petersen's on a regular basis - particularly on social media - pointed out the absurdity of judging Sutherland as a person based entirely on his hair.

A letter sent by an alleged Penn State fan that addresses Nittany Lions' safety Jonathan Sutherland's hair has created a stir on social media and drawn reactions from members of the roster.

Only after that did he take questions and discuss the big upcoming game at Iowa.

"You know the football that I know and love brings people together and embraces differences. Long hair, short hair, no hair, they're all in that locker room together", Franklin said.

"Teams all over this country are the purest form of humanity that we have".

Penn State football has "110,000 fans from all different backgrounds, throughout our region, from all different parts of the state, and they're hugging and high-fiving and singing "Sweet Caroline" together", Franklin said. We grow. We support and we defend each other.

You can watch Franklin's entire message here. Although Penn State's schedule so far hasn't been the most hard, it's still an excellent situation to be in because they have a young team.

Petersen wrote the letter about Penn State player Jonathan Sutherland, describing his "shoulder-length dreadlocks look disgusting and are certainly not attractive", according to Sutherland's teammate Antonio Shelton's post of the letter on Twitter.

The letter writer claimed that he and his wife were "proud "older" graduates of Penn state".

Heading into the season, Penn State had an unknown identity considering all of the young talent starting.

"I would just like to see the coaches get the guys cleaned up and not looking like Florida State and Miami guys", Petersen said.

'While we don't know the source of this letter or the authenticity, obviously its content does not align with our values, ' the school said in a statement on Twitter.

"We strongly condemn this message or any message of intolerance".

The letter went on to congratulate Sutherland on Penn State's victory against the University of Pittsburgh on September 14 but urged him to "remember [he] represents all Penn Staters both current and those alumni from years past", and suggested that Penn State should bring back a dress code.

'Their dress, tattoos, or hairstyle has no impact on my support, nor does their gender, skin color, sexuality or religion! Once again, Sutherland had the support of his coach.

"He does well in school and is already a captain and he's only a sophomore", Toney said.

"We are going to ignore that and block out the hate". You can't put energy into negative things.

"I'm pretty sure whoever wrote that letter you'd want your kid to be like Jonathan Sutherland".

Franklin went on to specifically defend Sutherland, calling attention to the respect his program has for him and highlighting the reasons. He's confident, he articulate, he's intelligent, he's thoughtful. He's caring, and he's committed.

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