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Penn State Controversy: Regarding a Player’s Dreadlocks, a Penn State Football Fan Stirs up Controversy!

Penn State Controversy: An elderly Penn State alumnus wrote a letter to the black team captain of the football team, calling his dreadlocks “disgusting,” which sparked outrage on social media and garnered media attention around the country.

David Petersen, a Johnstown, Pennsylvania resident in his mid-seventies, stated that on August 31, while watching a televised game between the Nittany Lions and Idaho, he observed defensive back Jonathan Sutherland, 21, had braided hair streaming down the back of his helmet.

The letter stated, “Don’t you have parents or a partner who have told you those shoulder-length dreadlocks are horrible and are definitely not beautiful.” You must keep in mind that you speak for all Penn Staters, both current students and former alumni.

penn state controversy

According to Petersen, he and his wife, who graduated from Penn State as well, “miss the clean-cut young men and ladies” from their time at the school.

The letter was labelled as incendiary and racially intolerable in a furious social media response from Penn State coach James Franklin, school administration, and supporters. Petersen’s opinions were backed up by some comments.

We strongly condemn this speech or any message of bigotry, the institution stated in a tweet

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Sutherland is “one of the most regarded players in our team,” Franklin, one of 13 black head coaches in major college football, said at a news conference on Tuesday. He is a captain, a dean’s list honour student, self-assured, articulate, smart, considerate, kind, and committed.

Petersen informed the Tribune-Democrat that he received his degree in speech pathology from Penn State in 1966 and is now retired. He claimed to be a former football season ticket holder and stated he didn’t mean for his message to come across as racially insensitive.

He told the newspaper, “I simply want to see the coaches get the guys cleaned up and not looking like Miami and Florida State men.

A teammate tweeted a copy of Petersen’s letter to Sutherland. Sutherland answered as follows:

“Yesterday, I received a letter from a Pennsylvania State University alumnus who felt compelled to express his disparaging views on my hair and what it represents. I’ve taken no personal offence from the remark, despite the fact that it was rude, stupid, and judgemental because I must respect you as a person before I appreciate your perspective.

penn state controversy

“At the end of the day, without needing an apology, I forgive this person because I’m not perfect and I expect God to forgive me for all the wrong I’ve done in my life,” he concluded.

Sutherland is ranked tenth among major institutions with his unbeaten Nittany Lions colleagues. On Saturday, they take on 17th-ranked Iowa in Iowa City.

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In his letter, Petersen stated that although he anticipates Sutherland to play professional football after graduation, he and his wife do not watch NFL games due to their distaste for the players’ on-field antics.

One respondent to the Tribune-Democrat piece asked, “And why’s that?” Why? Because they’re expressing themselves through their choice of haircut or body art, perhaps? I’m sad that you now live in a more permissive era where body jewellery and tattoos are more prevalent and acceptable.

As a 2017 graduate and a lifelong supporter of Penn State, another fan wrote on Twitter: “You (Sutherland) and the rest of the squad represent the University brilliantly and make past, present, and future Penn Staters PROUD.”

Don’t worry about Dave, he has plenty of like-minded buddies all throughout the country, said a third.

Petersen’s message also received the following encouraging response: “I’m from the ’70s. Yes, I miss the well-groomed, ball-playing men. sports, not just football. Before joining the Marine Corps, my sons were active in sports. Sometimes changes are not for the better.

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