by Tim Reynolds
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)—Miami quarterback Jacory Harris said he received at least one racially motivated hate message following the Hurricanes’ loss to Ohio State Sept 11.
Harris said he received at least one comment on Twitter from someone saying the Hurricanes should not have “a Black quarterback,” making the revelation five days after the school told its football players to discontinue using the social messaging site.
Harris did not divulge exactly what was written or the sender’s identity. He said he could not recall if the tweet contained any threats, and his Twitter account was deleted last week.
It’s far from the first time that racially insensitive comments have been directed toward Harris, who is Black.
No. 19 Miami (1-1) visits Pittsburgh (1-1) on Thursday night. Harris threw four interceptions, matching a career-worst, in Miami’s 36-24 loss to Ohio State Sept. 11.
Harris used Twitter to apologize to fans for that performance, and said he skipped through many of the messages he received because they were mainly negative.
“You see some things and you get kind of hurt, because sometimes it’s your fans that say the things,” Harris said. “It’ll be the ones that probably just before the game wrote you some encouraging message, then after the game say they don’t want a Black quarterback here. Stuff like that.”
Miami coach Randy Shannon told The Associated Press that the Twitter ban had “nothing” to do with the comment Harris received. Later, Shannon added that while it was “disappointing” that Harris was the subject of such reaction, the coach—a Miami native and Miami graduate—said he believes the school has “a tremendous fan base.”
“It’s sad that Jacory would be exposed to those types of statements. They have no place in our society and are not tolerated at the University of Miami,” Shannon said.
Miami is the only BCS school in the country with Black coaches for football (Shannon) and men’s basketball (Frank Haith).
Harris said he’s trying to center his energies around getting ready for Pittsburgh, not on the anonymous comments from fans, whether it was of the positive or negative variety.
“It is disheartening. It’s something that you look it and it kind of brings you to tears, a little bit,” Harris said. “But at the same time, you know it’s just a comment. Nothing else will be taken after that. There will be no steps taken after that. That’s his opinion. That’s that person’s opinion. Got to live with it.”