STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA) — A Penn State football player shared a controversial letter his teammate received from alumni following a game against Idaho.

Antonio Shelton posted the letter on his Twitter account Monday, with the caption, “One of my teammates got this. Explain to me how this isn’t racist.”

The author of the letter was critical of the teammate’s appearance.

The person said about Penn State football player Jonathon Sutherland, “We couldn’t help but notice your – well – awful hair,” and later asked, “Don’t you have parents or a girlfriend who’ve told you those shoulder-length dreadlocks look disgusting and are certainly not attractive.”

The author added that “we missed the clean cut young men and women” from when the individual was at the university.

The author says he and his wife are “proud ‘older’ graduates” who welcome the “reappearance of dress codes for athletes,” according to the letter.

Penn State played Idaho on Aug. 31.

The university’s head football coach James Franklin responded to the letter at a news conference, calling Sutherland a respected player.

KDKA’s Lindsay Ward Reports:


“You know that the football that I know and love brings people together and embraces differences,” said Franklin. “Jonathan Sutherland is one of the most respected players in our program. He’s the ultimate example of what our program is all about.”

The university also responded and shared their reaction to the letter on Twitter.

They said, “Its content does not align with our values. We strongly condemn this message or any message of intolerance.”

The letter also calls out NFL players for their appearance.