Football is a competitive sport, bringing communities together through adrenal opposition, daunting teamwork and hometown development. Each day, we gather with our family and friends to watch players risk their bodies in hopes of attaining a victory over a rival. However, at the end of the day, football is just a game — conceived entertainment to distract us from stressors in our lives and granting the youths of our country the opportunity to invest their surplus energy into athletics.
Certain vile individuals harassing coach Kevin Sumlin are using the sport as an excuse for unruly and offensive behavior, leaving the longtime A&M head coach death threats and sinister letters. The 53-year old coach already had pressure heading into the season; Sumlin is responsible for governing three straight 8-5 seasons with two bowl game losses. The opener didn’t help his employment chances; after maintaining a 44-10 lead late in the third quarter, A&M collapsed, giving UCLA a 45-44 victory at the end of regulation.
The backlash was immediate. So much so, that Sumlin’s wife Charlene posted this racist scribbled note sent directly to their home:
Because of the implications of the letter, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation.
The Brazos County (Texas) Sheriff's office confirmed to ESPN it has an open investigation into the racist hate… https://t.co/GaTqxCFCTl
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 8, 2017
Texas A&M president Michael Young and Director of Athletics Scott Woodward released the following statement earlier this week, giving a no-nonsense approach to this kind of behavior moving forward.
“Earlier this evening, we became aware of a letter of unknown origin that was sent to the Sumlin family home. We unequivocally condemn this disgusting and threatening letter. There is no excuse for hatred and, as a community, we will not allow the ignorance of some to intimidate any member of our community. On behalf of all Aggies, our thoughts are with Coach Sumlin and his family, and we will do all that we can to ensure their safety. We are working with law enforcement authorities to bring the sender of this letter to justice. We stand with the Sumlins and will not accept this inexcusable act of hate.”
Head coach Kevin Sumlin spoke out against the letter following Saturday’s home game against Nicholls State, saying “I get criticism, which is part of the job. I get suggestions, and that’s part of the job,” he said. “In this situation, for that [letter] to come to my home and for her to open it and read that, that is completely different. My wife and kids have never called a play. My wife and kids have never done anything footballwise that led to us losing a game or winning a game.”
“The racial aspect is one part of it, but the open-ended threat at the end, sent to my house … I’ve got to draw the line there.”
Since that statement, Charlene Sumlin has come out and said that the authorities are trackindg down the sender of the letter and would be pursuing charges against the alleged offender. That was reported by Ben Baby of the Dallas Morning News on Sunday.
Sumlin family pursuing criminal charges against person who sent threatening, racist letter https://t.co/W3Cq85Dv1k
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 10, 2017
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