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Antonio Shelton Shares Racist Letter From ‘Alum’ To Teammate

Penn State football’s Antonio Shelton shared a racist letter Monday that a teammate received from someone claiming to be an alumnus following last month’s game against Pitt. The letter criticized the player’s dreadlocks, which the author, who signed his name as Dave Petersen, called “disgusting” and “certainly not attractive.”

“We miss the clean cut young men and women from those days,” Petersen wrote. “Watching the Idaho game on TV we couldn’t help but notice your – well – awful hair.”

Petersen, who identified he and his wife as “proud ‘older’ graduates,” also asked the player if he had parents or a girlfriend to advise him on how they looked. Additionally, Petersen, who seems very much in favor of a whiter football, said he and his wife have stopped watching the NFL because of the “disgusting, tattoos, awful hair and immature antics.”

“You need to remember you represent all Penn Staters both current and those alumni from years past,” he said. “We would welcome the reappearance of dress codes for athletes.”

Shelton’s tweet doesn’t directly indicate who the player is, but the only player who spells his name as is addressed in the letter is safety Jonathan Sutherland, who normally sports dreadlocks. Sutherland didn’t immediately post anything of his own on social media following Shelton’s tweet.

Plenty of fans were quick to reply to Shelton to reassure him that this isn’t the sentiment of the fan base. Some even called for Petersen to be stripped of his tickets or banned from Athletics events.

And to Dave Petersen, as someone so concerned with how people represent other Penn Staters, remember the story behind the “We Are” heading on your letter and what it’s supposed to mean. And even if it is a legend, this is not what 107,000 fans feel when they shout it on Saturdays. There will be no meetings.

Editor’s note: The original version of this article said that the author was an alumnus. The article has since been updated to be more specific and reflect that he said he was an alumnus.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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