Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and his wife Charlene have pushed back against a letter with an extreme racial slur that was sent to their house, saying that they’ll seek to press charges, and they’ve received significant praise for that in many quarters.
That praise doesn’t seem to be universal, though, as ESPN’s Paul Finebaum told Bob Ley on Outside The Lines Monday that some have questioned why the Sumlins publicized the letter:
— Bob Ley (@BobLeyESPN) September 11, 2017
Finebaum says “It was a really good moment for Kevin Sumlin, who unfortunately hasn’t had many lately. He called this person, whoever it is, this subterranean creature that none of us would want to be associated with, and he made an example out of it. It’s separate from the issues we’ve talked about in the past, with the regent and the UCLA game, but it gives everyone pause. There is a little bit of blowback in College Station, ‘Why did he do it?’ ‘Why did she do it? It made the school look bad.’ But who really cares?”
Ley interjects “Really?! There’s pushback for publicizing a letter of that nature, sent to a man at his home in 2017, and people are, pardon my French, pissed off about that?”
Finebaum then says “Yes, yes there is. Bob, I agree. I pointed that out because I think it’s worth knowing. And I’m not trying to cast a broad brush; it’s, you know, some people, and they’ve expressed themselves. Not anyone important, not anyone that we should probably be paying attention to, but fans on social media, which unfortunately, people pay a great deal of attention to. But by what he said Saturday, I think he ended that conversation, because I think he stood up for not only his family but he stood up for what’s right, and I’m really glad he did it.”
Here’s what Sumlin said about the letter after the Aggies’ win over Nicholls State Saturday, as per ESPN.com:
“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.”
It makes sense for Sumlin to draw a line here and blast this considering how it went so far beyond acceptable criticism. And it’s unfortunate that some have criticized himself and his wife for publicizing this. As Ley said, this shouldn’t be acceptable, and it’s logical for the Sumlin family to point that out.
[Bob Ley on Twitter]