Ivy hoops community shows support for Seth Towns, racial justice

Seth Towns on the sideline for a Harvard men’s basketball game during his senior campaign, which he missed due to injury | Photo by Erica Denhoff

Just a day after graduating from Harvard, former Ivy Player of the Year Seth Towns was detained and subsequently released by police Friday in his hometown of Columbus after he protested nonviolently in response to the death of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers across America.

The protest in Columbus was one of many sparked by the video record of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis while three other officers stood nearby Monday.

Seth Towns addressed the incident on Twitter Saturday afternoon, noting that he was as proud of his nonviolent protest in downtown Columbus to cry out against the deaths of Floyd and Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician fatally shot in her home by police in March.

Under coach Tommy Amaker, the Harvard men’s basketball program has embraced social consciousness and activism. Amaker introduced sociologist and civil rights activist Harry Edwards and broadcaster James Brown for a discussion of activism in sports at Harvard in 2017 and has invited his players to monthly “Breakfast Club” gatherings which have included guests like philosopher Cornel West.

In a statement Saturday, Amaker quickly expressed support for Towns’s protest.


Towns committed to Ohio State as a graduate transfer in March, and Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann in a statement Saturday said the program fully supports players’ right to protest.


Towns’s former assistant coaches, teammates and Ivy opponents expressed support for him Saturday.

Harvard assistant coach Brian Eskildsen tweeted out a photo of Towns with West (left) and Edwards.

Former Penn men’s captain Max Rothschild:

Penn men’s assistant coach Nat Graham:

Former Harvard teammate Henry Welsh:

Former Harvard teammate Tommy McCarthy:

Former Harvard teammate Chris Egi, who explained his efforts to bring light to racial injustice and reflected on how coach Tommy Amaker makes Harvard a socially conscious basketball program in an appearance on our Inside Ivy Hoops podcast in Jan. 2019:

Harvard assistant coach Donny Guerinoni:


Penn assistant coach Joe Mihalich:

Former Cornell standout Matt Morgan:

Other players and coaches connected to Ivy hoops have recognized the racial injustice in America and the ongoing reckoning over it on Twitter, including former Cornell standout, current Minnesota graduate transfer and Minneapolis native Laura Bagwell-Katalinich:

Brown men’s basketball coach Mike Martin:


Penn men’s basketball coach Steve Donahue:

Harvard women’s basketball coach Kathy Delaney-Smith:

The Yale women’s basketball program:



Columbia women’s basketball coach Megan Griffith:


This post has been updated to include statements made Saturday by Chris Holtmann, Mike Martin, Mike McLaughlin, Megan Griffith and Cornell women’s basketball.


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