Kent State Wrestler Sam Wheeler Suspended Indefinitely for ‘Fag’ Tweet About Michael Sam


Kent State wrestler Sam Wheeler has been suspended indefinitely for a series of tweets containing anti-gay slurs that began as a commentary about gay Missouri football player Michael Sam, CBS Cleveland reports:

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

In addition to the initial tweet, Wheeler responded to 2 other users with a homophobic slur before tweeting, “O geez I got all these fag boys mad at me now.”

…The tweets were deleted and Wheeler’s twitter account is no longer active but the gay-oriented web site captured and published a screen grab the tweets and called for users to contact the university, the school’s athletic director, Wheeler’s wrestling coach as well as the Mid-American Conference in protest.

Kent State Director of Athletics released the following statement:

“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.”

Kent State Head Wrestling Coach Jim Andrassy added:

“As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam’s head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter. I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward.”



  1. CPT_Doom says

    @Ryan – IOW, he’s worried about losing his scholarship, which is fine with me. I hope they keep him on tenderhooks for a while, deciding whether to permanently bench him – will serve a good lesson for the team.

  2. Anony6 says

    I love Twitter,and how it keeps exposing these idiot athletes/politicians/public figures for the bigots they are. And these individuals really end up hurting themselves most of all after they get lampooned by the public, and sponsors don’t want to associate with them.

  3. Drew says

    Wheeler should be disciplined but not permanently suspended from the team or school. Either action would be extreme moves, and would set him up to become the new poster child for the extreme right wing since Phil Robertson is now so two months ago.

  4. says

    What? No Sarah Palin/Bobby Jindal Faux outrage and free speech harpies?

    Oh that’s right. Wheeler didn’t reference ‘fag’ bashing as his religion. Dumb of you Sam. You forgot to use the ‘coded’ usage so the ‘family values’ crowd can pretend your ‘religious liberty’ has been violated.

  5. Rex says

    He’s jealous and sad. Unhappy people don’t talk or tweet like that. He wanted the attention that Michael was getting and the regular coverage that football gets.

  6. dctopman says

    @ CPT_DOOM
    Not to be the grammar/spelling Police but, just FYI: you are on TENTERhooks, not TENDERhooks.

    To be on tenterhooks is to be filled with painful or anxious anticipation or suspense, such as when you’re waiting for the result of an important medical test or whether you are going to loose your college scholarship because you are a bigot.

  7. Rawn says

    No doubt he’s remorseful about the consequences, and not the statements. But he’s a kid, and this isn’t worth ruining his life over. This is an opportunity for him to do some self-examination and change, like Kobe Bryant. Punishment is appropriate, but let’s hope that punishment isn’t the end of this story.

  8. Drew says

    Correcting my comment above. Wheeler didn’t reference his religious beliefs, so the comment above is right that the Palin crowd probably won’t jump on this one. Even the public use of the word “fag” is too much for them.

  9. Just Sayin' says

    I hope he’s not suspended, this is an opportunity to make someone who is ignorant into a supporter, to foster a greater understanding, and to make the world a better place for everybody, thus enriching everybody’s lives…

    It’s unnecessary to make some sort of example of him, and ruin his future, out of sheer vindictiveness.

    It’s childish to keep making remarks that everyone that expresses this kind of ignorance is int he closet. That kind of crap doesn’t do anything to make a meaningful difference. Grow up.

  10. cminca says

    Here’s a thought Kent State.

    Expel him.

    Not for the remark, but for being so fundamentally stupid in making it that he can’t possibly be Kent State material.

  11. Rebekah Majors-Manley says

    When you are representative of organizations it is not all about you any further. As a person he has a right to his own wrong personal beliefs but one must understand consequences. Very happy to hear of his suspension. VERY HAPPY! Damn happy. LMFAOROTF. Now he has even more time to watch the great news of coming out in the world of sport bigots.

  12. disgusted american says

    …so typical of a young “mixed race” man..whom NEVER had to fight for HIS RIGHTS he TAKES for GRANTED…its PURE Ignorance and Lack Empathy & of education to ones own history.

  13. Jack M says

    Lots of guys make ignorant comments, but this guy really has no excuse for all he said, and no apology can really be enough, even one that is 100% sincere. He’s an terrible human being.

  14. says

    Nobody wants to ruin his life. The object lesson would be for him to learn that words have consequences. It’s painfully obvious that he’s completely clueless about what his socially privileged hetero sexuality affords him.

    Have him sit in on talk sessions with kids as young as six that are victimized every day with the words he tosses about in ignorance.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    @ JUST SAYIN':

    I want to respond to your comment because it was a sincere and honest attempt to say that vindictiveness is of no value.

    When we joke about an active homophobe being “in the closet” it’s usually a defense mechanism. We usually have no proof–no real evidence.

    But what many of us do have is that memory of being in a Gay club, Gay Pride event or any type of LGBT function and seeing someone who Gay-bashed us in highschool. Some of us feel rage, some of us feel uncomfortable.

    Some Gay folks will tell their former Gay-basher (who’s now Gay), “I don’t want to speak to you. You finally come out of the closet and you think all is forgiven? you.”

    But some of us go along with the performance and pretend that all is forgiven. Let go of the past is the motto.

    I’m not sure that those of us in the latter group are any better off for it.

  16. Michael says

    Before the Palinites start spouting free speech, here’s the rule violation, p. 85, Kent State Student-Athlete Handbook:

    “Athletic Department Policy: Participation in intercollegiate athletics at Kent State University is a privilege, not a right. Athletic Department conduct policy currently states, ‘Student-athletes shall conduct themselves in a manner befitting highly visible members of the university community at all times, and abide by all rules established by the university, department, and head coach.'”

  17. Aulton says

    ^ The Palinites won’t bother making excuses for him. He’s not white enough for them to like.

    More on topic, enough with idiots like this guy getting away with things like this. He’s old enough to learn that actions have consequences. Kick him off. Expulsion would be better but I know they won’t do that to an athlete.

  18. Carl says

    At some point, shouldn’t we be appalled at such illiberal responses? Doesn’t defending someone’s right to say something mean defending their right not to endure reprisal for it? Wasn’t there a time when we were appalled that an employer would fire an individual who was “found out” as gay? That’s certainly what I march for: that the individual should be free to speak his/her mind without fear of reprisal. Regardless of one’s position on a moral issue, shouldn’t we set the bar for censure above simply what they say? Let people sa bigoted things as this child has. Push back against them, forcefully. But cow them into silence by suspending or firing them? Surely we are not so unenlightened as to go that far?

  19. JMC says

    ugh I hate it when people chime in to say that every moronic bigot under the sun MUST be gay to be homophobic. no, shut up. stop painting gay people as being responsible for their own oppression and harassment. there is absolutely no indication this scumbag is gay, but you sure can tell he’s an idiot just by glancing at the picture of him in the OP.

  20. Sam says

    @Carl – the distinction is firing someone for being gay is firing them for what they ARE, not what they say. I think firing someone for embarrassing your organization is okay.

  21. says

    I champion free speech all the time. This isn’t about free speech. This is about the consequences of using slurs when you’re a representative of an organization. No different that if he had used racial, ethnic. or misogynist epitaphs when representing a company or institution as an employee.

    As a representative of Kent State (wrestling scholarship) he demeans himself and the University if they do nothing. How is he going to grow to understand the consequences of speech if the school let’s him get away unpunished for using slurs?

  22. Hill says

    He was suspended for violating school ethics and code. Anyway, with the type of rant he made, so ignorant and stupid, I would be ashamed to have him on my team.

  23. andrew says

    How sad it is that a young man like Sam Wheeler, who just a generations ago would have face discrimination and bigotry because of his racial or mixed racial heritage, now hurls his bigotry at others. Does this young bigot even realize that while he uses the F word to describe Michael Sam, there are still plenty of folks who behind his back use the N word to describe him? How sad that some of us learn nothing from history.

  24. Just Sayin' says

    DERRICK FROM PHILLY, I agree with you, and understand the sentiment.

    The thing about forgiveness is that it’s really not just about the person asking to be forgiven. It’s really just as much about the burden the people being asked to forgive carry.

    Finally releasing all that anger and pain is important. People can move-on, they can change, and they can heal…

  25. CC says

    He should lose his scholarship, this will send a strong message to all homophobic athletes that their words have consequences that an apology will not fix. The athletes will then move forward more focused on the game than commenting with hate.

  26. barweight says

    sam’s my man. why is he in hot water, if a man can say that he is a faggot or queer or waste of good flesh, why can’t another say the truth, go sam, you owe no one an apology, its about time the good human beings wake up and put these turd tampers in their place. they are sick and disgusting and we pat them on the back. down with fags. go sammy. get some guts. do not apologize or take it back. we are not homophobic, we just do not like ass pokers.shame on the coach and anyone who thinks that i should not be able to voice my opinion. how dare you tell me to shut up. they all need a plague put on them and then let GOD sort them.

  27. Derek says

    Barweight, you’re a waste of space and oxygen. You don’t understand anything- from the science and research- to basic human decency. You’re a sad little boy scared about a world that is evolving while you’re head is in the sand. Please stay in whatever podunk little town you’re in, because nowhere else would want a mouthbreather like you hating things you don’t even understand. You’re an embarrassment.

  28. Derek says

    oh and I’m telling you to shut up. I just dared to tell you to shut up, you ignorant slack-jawed yokel. And while you’re at it, why don’t you research why it’s totally legal for your mouthbreather friend Sam to be kicked out. He should learn like you: people have less tolerance for your sad BS, and people like you are on your way out. #bye

  29. Garry says

    People are finally learning that the “fags” are just not going to be bullied any more. We fight back… and it is now socially unacceptable to wear your bigotry publicly.

  30. Richard says

    Being indefinitely suspended for his 5th amendment right is stupid. These are the same rights the gays say they want. A verbal apology and a reprimand would have done the trick. This is why SAM the gay guy SHOULD NOT be drafted. Everyone would have to walk on egg shells around him. He will be able to get away with murder in the name of homophobia. Trust me when I tell you that the word fag does not offend anyone. He should not use it because there are more appropriate words in the dictionary. He is rightly frustrated with gay issues being the only things on t.v. Gays run the media and obviously the universities!

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