C.J. Holmes is a Penn State football player. If you know nothing about sports whatsoever, here’s where I’ll explain that Penn State Football and college football, in general, is a huge deal—Holmes and his teammates are in a prime spot to move on to the NFL and there’s a lot of pressure on what they’re doing out on the field now.
Most of them are very young, even teenagers. The people in the stands are their classmates, but a significant number of them are Penn State alumni who buy tickets to the games for the entire season and feel possessive pride over the team. Oh, and some of them are super racist, apparently.
On Twitter, Holmes shared a letter his teammate received from a man who signed his name David Peterson. Peterson says in the opening that he and his wife are “older” graduates of Penn State. He talks about how much they love sports and then segues into a criticism of the football player’s hair. Specifically, the fact that he has dreadlocks, rather than the “clean cut” look from Peterson’s era.
He writes, “Surely you have mirrors in the locker room! Don’t you have parents or a girlfriend who’ve told you that shoulder-length dreadlocks are disgusting and are certainly not attractive.”
my teammate got this in the mail today, and tbh Im at a lost for words.. I also have locs, Tats, and NFL dreams too, these messages can not be tolerated, this was extremely inappropriate, racially biased, and selfish to feel like you even have a right to send this message #WeAre pic.twitter.com/DPTp9Km9yt— ㅤ (@CjHo1mes) October 7, 2019
Holmes shared the letter, captioning it, “My teammate got this in the mail today, and tbh I’m at a lost for words…I also have locs, Tats, and NFL dreams too, these messages can not be tolerated, this was extremely inappropriate, racially biased, and selfish to feel like you even have a right to send this message.”
Agreed! And here’s the full letter if you want to read the whole gross, condescending, racist thing:
People are very firmly on Holmes’s and his teammate’s side. Penn State has been the site of incredible controversy over the last few years, as it was revealed that former football coach Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile who sexually assaulted dozens of children.
Many of his assaults took place while he worked as an assistant coach under Joe Paterno at Penn State. When his crimes were uncovered, it was revealed that Paterno knew Sandusky was harming children and helped cover it up.
If he is worried about Penn State’s reputation, maybe Peterson should start there.
Lots of people had things to say about this letter and the type of white boomers who fill the stands for the sole purpose of policing black players:
Bet the dude that wrote that letter says it's was a "witch hunt" and don't believe that it happened.— VoL Gnomeo (@Buckethead78) October 8, 2019
Imagine being a 60+ year old man sending this to a 19-20 year old. SMH man.
— Rajon Kierondo (@KMASON21) October 7, 2019
CJ: I’m a Penn State alumni. Please tell Jonathan that I’m proud to have him (and you) represent me. The people who wrote this letter do not represent the Nittany Lions. Keep your head up.
— David Onda (@David_Onda) October 7, 2019
ONE DAVE TO RULE THEM ALL!!!— David Onda (@David_Onda) October 8, 2019
Absolutely. Screw the A.D. Go straight to the president's office. Bring a copy of the letter. Stash the original somewhere safe.— Brian Walker (@RockSolidBWalk) October 8, 2019
Definitely the translation of this letter.— Tal (@giantcu92) October 8, 2019
Yes they do, look where we are.— Bruja🇵🇷 (@Fullfigurefacts) October 8, 2019
Dear white people who act this way, no one cares what you like. Please get some business of your own. Or just shut up. It's free. https://t.co/tduobcI38O— ❄Mikki Kendall❄ (@Karnythia) October 8, 2019
Imagine being this pathetic to write something like this. https://t.co/VUl5RL6l8T— JG (@JoeGoodberry) October 7, 2019
That time I feel sympathetic towards the Penn State Football program. We spend so much time hating on their coach and fan base, we sometimes forget their players are amazingly talented kids, who have to deal with the creepier aspects of their fan base on the regular. https://t.co/Hgdm46WHJt— Forbes Quadrangle (@ForbesQuad) October 7, 2019
A news editor named Tom Cleary also tweeted that a man named Dave Peterson writes letters to papers regularly about tattoos and dreadlocks.
It’s either the same guy or there’s something about having the name Dave Peterson that gives people brain worms:
Penn State fan Dave Petersen has also written letters to local newspapers about tattoos, babies and how a page for newspaper display for kids about Muslim holidays was disrespectful to survivors of 9/11... https://t.co/WFswe8dO8K pic.twitter.com/5EYICB160H— Tom Cleary (@tomwcleary) October 8, 2019
It’s good that Holmes is speaking up, but it sucks that he has to. Being a football fan doesn’t make your opinions about how football players look important—especially when they’re coming out of a dusty racist’s mouth. Shut your glory hole, Peterson.