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Ohio: Kent State wrestler Sam Wheeler suspended for anti-gay tweets

Copley's Sam Wheeler celebrates his victory over Cincinnati Elder's Ian Korb in Div I 171 pound match during the championship semifinals of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at Value City Arena in Columbus
(Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

Kent State University Athletics have suspended wrestler Sam Wheeler for anti-gay remarks he made on twitter. According to a report by Fox Sports on Feb. 10, the action taken against Wheeler was in response to a series of tweets he made regarding Michael Sam’s announcement that he is gay.

Wheeler showed his annoyance with the headlines and coverage of the news and voiced his opinion with negative and offensive remarks.

I can’t even watch Sports Center today cause all they are talking about is Marcus Smart or that (slur) from Mizzou…” Wheeler tweeted.

But the anti-gay remarks didn’t stop there. He went on to tweet, “O geez I got all these (slur) boys mad at me now.”

The 20-year-old Wheeler, a redshirt sophomore, put his own collegiate athletic career in jeopardy with the remarks as he was suspended indefinitely. Athletic Director Joel Nielsen said in a statement that the University will not tolerate ignorance of any kind.

“We are aware of the insensitive tweets by one of our student athletes. On behalf of Kent State University, we consider these comments to be ignorant and not indicative of the beliefs held by our university community as a whole. This is an educational opportunity for all of our student-athletes.”

Wheeler’s head coach Jim Andrassy added that he was “surprised and offended” by what he read.

The action by Kent State University sends a message that any sort of negative treatment towards another member of a different ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, handicap or religious affiliation will result in serious consequences. It also showcases the ramifications of negative behavior on social media platforms.

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