Former Penn State basketball player Rasir Bolton transferred to Iowa State after his freshman year because his former head coach Patrick Chambers referenced “a noose around [his] neck” during a meeting between the two of them.
Bolton, who shared a statement on Twitter, shared his story with The Undefeated as well.
“A ‘noose’ around my neck is why I left Penn State,” Bolton wrote on Twitter. “Head Coach Patrick Chambers, the day after his one-game suspension in January 2019, in talking to me referenced a ‘noose’ around my neck. A noose; symbolic of lynching, defined as one of the most powerful symbols directed at African Americans invoking the history of lynching, slavery, and racial terrorism. Due to other interactions with Coach, I knew this was no slip of the tongue.”
Bolton claimed that he reported the comment to his academic advisor as well as Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour. Bolton and his parents met with Chambers and Barbour, and in one of those meetings, Chambers admitted to the comment, according to Bolton.
Chambers released a statement on Monday.
“I failed to comprehend the experiences of others, and the reference I made was hurtful, insensitive and unacceptable,” Chambers wrote. “I cannot apologize enough for what I said, and I will carry that forever.”
“I promise that I will keep listening, I will keep learning, and continue our conversations within our team and our Penn State family,” Chambers added.