Spencer Brown of Appalachian State, left, and John Wilson IV of A&T University.
Appalachian State Athletics / Via Associated Press
A white college men's tennis player has been suspended indefinitely after allegedly telling his black opponent “at least I know my dad” during a match on Sunday.
Appalachian State University suspended Spencer Brown after his opponent, John Wilson IV, a freshman at the historically black A&T University in North Carolina, tweeted that the comment was made during their NCAA Division I match.
“Their coach responded by saying, 'we have a black guy on our team.' Black Twitter, do ya thing,” Wilson, who is also the university's senior class president, posted that night.
The tweet quickly went viral.
On Monday, Appalachian State said it immediately suspended Brown because he “engaged in behavior that was derogatory and offensive.”
“We have reached out to the #NCAT to convey our apologies on behalf of Appalachian athletics and the university for the conduct for this member of the team,” the school stated.
Attempts to reach Wilson and Brown were not immediately successful Tuesday.
School officials said they learned about the comment around 10 p.m. Sunday night and started investigating the next morning, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
“It didn’t take us long to know that this student-athlete of ours made this statement and therefore, we acted immediately,” Appalachian athletics director Doug Gillin told the paper.
As for the latter half of Wilson's tweet, alleging that the coach only mildly reprimanded Brown by reminding him that “we have a black guy on our team,” Gillin noted that the investigation is ongoing.
Brown is still enrolled as a student at Appalachian State, the university's communications director said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Wilson said no one from Appalachian State's administration had reached out to him yet, but thanked the school for acting so quickly.
“Thank you for all the help,” he tweeted. “This is something I've always dealt with being a black tennis player.”