Editor’s note: This report contains explicit language.
All high-profile coaches receive hate mail.
It’s part of the seedy underbelly of the culture of super-fandom, wrapped up in the billion-dollar industries that professional and college sports have become.
Sometimes it can be laughed off, wadded up and thrown away.
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“You suck as a coach! You’re a n----- and can’t win! Please get out! Or else,” the note read. Yes, someone folded a piece of paper with that scribbled on it, stuffed it into an envelope, applied postage and sent it via the U.S. Postal Service.
“People of 2017: please tell me how any part of this is ok. And to the sender: did it occur to you that a child may open it?” Charlene Sumlin asked on Twitter in response.
Kevin and Charlene Sumlin have four children.
In a statement Thursday night, Texas A&M president Michael Young and athletic director Scott Woodward confirmed that the letter was sent to the Sumlin family home and issued a response. “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,” the statement said.
Sumlin’s job was thought by most to be in some degree of jeopardy coming into the 2017 season, but the hate directed at him and his family by the sender only brave enough to use the harshest of racist language without putting his or her name to it, registers on an altogether different spectrum.