In a tweet Tuesday night, Nigel Hayes shared an email he received from a Wisconsin fan.
It started off nicely enough, congratulating Hayes on his recent graduation. Then it took a racially insensitive turn and questioned Hayes’ hair.
“But now one thing — what the heck crazy odd hairdo are you having on the top of your head?? … Get all cleaned up with a nice haircut and side-bur trim and prof. appearance — then for sure you will get picked to be on a pro basketball team looking better and more classy for their team and community.”
Hayes, naturally, took offense to the email. He posted it on Twitter, saying “I guess a black male’s naturally dreaded hair in a ponytail isn’t fit for NBA teams/communities. As well as, it seems, professional society.”
I guess a black male's naturally dreaded hair in a ponytail isn't fit for NBA teams/communities. As well as, it seems, professional society. pic.twitter.com/9zdnyygyR9
— Nigel Hayes (@NIGEL_HAYES) May 17, 2017
Hayes was one of the most outspoken players in college athletics during his time at Wisconsin. He spoke out about racial injustice and police shootings in September. He also recently published an essay in the Players Tribune titled “Don’t Just Shut Up and Play.”