Texas A&M Team News

Kevin Sumlin, family to press charges against person who sent racist letter

Kevin Sumlin
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and his family will seek justice for the person who sent a racist letter to him last week.

Sumlin’s wife, Charlene, wrote Sunday on Twitter that her family intends to press charges if the person who sent the letter can be identified upon completion of the police’s investigation into the matter.

“They asked us if we wanted to press charges and I couldn’t answer ‘YES, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW’ fast enough,” Charlene wrote. “I want to make an example of this person. I want everyone to understand that I will do anything and everything to PROTECT MY FAMILY. Period.”

Charlene also thanked everyone for the “literally hundreds of text messages, phone calls, privates messages” in support of the family.

Charlene shared the racist letter, which also appeared to threaten Sumlin, last Thursday on Twitter.

“You suck as a coach! You’re a n—– and can’t win! Please get lost! Or else,” the letter read.

Houston Country Club was listed as the return address on the envelope for the letter. The sender’s name wasn’t listed.

The letter came following Texas A&M’s 45-44 loss to UCLA in the season opener, a game in which the Aggies blew a 34-point lead.

After Texas A&M’s second game of the season Saturday, a 24-14 win over Nicholls State, Sumlin addressed the letter.

“I get criticism, which is part of the job,” Sumlin said. “I get suggestions, and that’s part of the job. In this situation, for that (letter) to come to my home and for her to open it and read that, that is completely different. My wife and kids have never called a play. My wife and kids have never done anything football wise that led to us losing a game or winning a game.

“The racial (aspect) is one part of it, but the open-ended threat at the end, (sent) to my house … I’ve got to draw the line there.”

Texas A&M president Michael Young and athletic director Scott Woodward also condemned the letter sent to Sumlin in a joint statement.

“Earlier this evening, we became aware of a letter of unknown origin that was sent to the Sumlin family home. We unequivocally condemn this disgusting and threatening letter. There is no excuse for hatred and, as a community, we will not allow the ignorance of some to intimidate any member of our community.  On behalf of all Aggies, our thoughts are with Coach Sumlin and his family, and we will do all that we can to ensure their safety. We are working with law enforcement authorities to bring the sender of this letter to justice. We stand with the Sumlins and will not accept this inexcusable act of hate.”


Below is the full text of Charlene Sumlin’s response on Twitter.

“Kevin asked me to wait until after the game to comment any further about the letter situation. It was a week of craziness and distraction so I wanted to respect that. Now that I can, I want to say a couple of things. First: THANK YOU for the literally hundreds of text messages, phone calls, private messages etc. I couldn’t respond to everyone, I started to try at first and then it just became so overwhelming, but I want everyone to know that I read them and I am so grateful for the love and support.

“SECOND: My reason for posting the letter on twitter was because I knew that that was the best vehicle for getting action, My first call was to local law enforcement. We have literally the best liaison in Officer Ben Crenshaw and I knew that he would do everything that he could to get things handled. He did what he was able to do, but we hit a dead end because evidently the letter didn’t fit the criteria needed for our CP to prosecute it as a threat, or a hate crime or a violation of civil rights. SO, I decided to post it on twitter, where I knew it would take care of itself.

“Within two hours, I was contacted by people from almost every agency in the state. (Thank you to the amazing, well-connected friends we have for taking quick action..you know who you are). For those non postal experts, there is a bar code on the back of the envelope that gives them all of the information that they need to trace the letter. (The stamp being “cancelled” is now always indicative of the letter being processed…there you go conspiracy theorists.) They have run forensics, and are investigating. They asked us if we wanted to press charges and I couldn’t answer “YES, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW” fast enough. I want to make an example of this person. I want everyone to understand that I will do anything and everything to PROTECT MY FAMILY. Period.

“I literally cannot wait to look at this person eye to eye. There is a real unique kind of cowardice in someone to anonymously criticize, ridicule or threaten another person. If I have the opportunity to expose even ONE troll I am going to do it.

“THIRD. Privacy is a rare treasure in this social media world. I have worked very hard to protect that for myself and my kids. I don’t have a huge social media presence by design (there is a reason why my name on here is mine and not his). I don’t put myself out there for the media requests that I have received over the years. We do not make donations publicly or volunteer and expect cameras around so that we can get a pat on the back. You will never, EVER heard one of my children use their father’s status to self-promote or excuse bad behavior or any of the other countless things that they probably could.

“With all that being said, understand that we do not live by the sword so that we do not have to die by the sowrd (TY Jen Fulwiler for reminding me of that). We have a wonderful, HAPPY life that has ZERO to do with football. And that will never change. So please grant us the grace of allowing us to be normal people. OUR lives are not defined and our happiness is not determined by this game. We are stronger than that.

“LAST: I want to share this article written by one of my very precious friends who remains true to what it means to be a journalist even when it would be far more lucrative her to sell her soul. (much love to you RB). We will definitely keep you all posted once we get to the bottom of this ordeal. NOW….we move forward. xoxoxoxo”

(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)

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