A viral letter from a couple who once attended Penn State University has attracted the attention of rapper T.I., who did not hold back in his response.
News spread Tuesday of a pair of alums who explained they had a problem with one of the players’ locs, presumed to be safety Jonathan Sutherland.
“My wife and I are proud ‘older’ graduates of Penn State,” begins the letter that was tweeted by Nittany Lions defensive tackle Antonio Shelton Oct. 7. “We follow all Penn State sports; football, wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball. We love it all.”
But then, the writer says that he and his wife “miss the clean cut young men and women from those days.”
“Watching the Idaho game on TV we couldn’t help but notice your — well – awful hair, Surely there must be mirrors in the locker room ! Don’t you have parents or a girlfriend who’ve told you those shoulder length dreadlocks look disgusting and certainly not attractive.”
The letter went on to congratulate the player on winning against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in September but noted, “we would welcome the reappearance of dress codes for athletes.”
Before signing off, the writer said that although Sutherland will be heading to the NFL in the fuure, he and his wife no longer watch the pros because of the “disgusting tattoos” and “awful hair” the players wear.
“One of my teammates got this. Explain to me how this isn’t racist,” read the caption of Shelton’s tweet where he posted a photo of the letter signed by a Dave Petersen.
The note has been retweeted 17,000 times and by Tuesday, rapper T.I. gave his two cents.
“Dear Dave Petersen… F–K U VERY MUCH ‼️ The AUDACITY🤨🤯😳‼️&Jonathan bro I don’t know you or how you look. But listen King… U BETTER NOT BE persuaded to adjust your look due to this ignorant bigots LACK OF perspective ‼️ Dreadlocks are just as much a part of YOUR history/heritage as Rape & molestation is a part of Penn State’s… & IF YOU EVER run into ANYTHING you can’t handle from the city,staff & alumni… DONT HESITATE TO HIT ME‼️ #USorELSE✊🏽👑,” read a memo on Tip’s Instagram page next to the letter.
The Atlanta-based performer had referenced the former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who in 2012 was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison on convictions of child abuse and molestation. The Associated Press reported 75-year-old Sandusky is currently awaiting resentencing.
Many in the comments backed up Tip.
“😂😂😂😂TI the new lawyer for us !!! I love it💪🏾❤️❤️❤️”
“The caucasity. They really think they say or do whatever the f*** they want to do!”
“So Penn State doesn’t find molesting boys and young men disgusting but does locs?”
But for Sutherland, he’s not holding anything against the alumni. He tweeted a note Tuesday saying in part, “Although the message was indeed rude, ignorant, and judging, I’ve taken no personal offense to it because personally, I must respect you as a person before I respect your opinion.”
He added, “At the end of the day, without an apology needed, I forgive this individual because I’m nowhere close to being perfect and I expect God to forgive me for all the wrong I’ve done in my life.”
Meanwhile, Penn State responded to the tweet saying, “While we don’t know the source of this letter or the authenticity, obviously its content does not align with our values. We strongly condemn this message or any message of intolerance.”