Ohio State men's basketball player Seth Towns was detained by Columbus Police while participating in a protest in downtown Columbus on Friday.
Video footage of Towns being handcuffed by police officers surfaced on Friday night. Though he was detained, he was not arrested and is not facing any criminal charges, and returned to his apartment after being released.
Footage of Seth Towns in police custody earlier Friday at the scene of a protest in Columbus. Towns, an incoming Ohio State basketball transfer, graduated from Harvard Thursday.— Eleven Warriors (@11W) May 30, 2020
Towns is no longer in police custody and is safe at home, according to a source. pic.twitter.com/kFptHH63BN
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Towns commented on why he chose to protest.
In a span of just 24 hours, I walked across a Harvard virtual graduation stage into the back of police van alongside other peaceful protestorsboth of which I am equally proud of. pic.twitter.com/qtvXmw0Fwq— Seth (@seth_towns17) May 30, 2020
To express our sympathies and condolences to their families, loved ones and all justice seeking people devastated by their senseless deaths, we gathered to cry out their names. We sought to give voice to those whose voices were hushed; to name those whose breath was taken.— Seth (@seth_towns17) May 30, 2020
To those who are silent, speak upto those who are hurting, unite; and for those who are fighting with the weapons of love and justice, keep going. Im right there with you!— Seth (@seth_towns17) May 30, 2020
Ohio State basketball coach Chris Holtmann said in a statement on Saturday evening that he and Ohio State “fully support our players' right to peacefully protest.” Of Towns, Holtmann said “it's clear that he has a heart for social justice.”
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, assistant coaches Jake Diebler and Ryan Pedon and point guard Abel Porter were also among those who tweeted their support for Towns on Saturday.
Proud of you, Seth! https://t.co/G3Ovch8foF— gene smith (@OSU_AD) May 30, 2020
Well-stated. We stand united with our players. https://t.co/P8WViwUCc6— Ryan Pedon (@ryanpedon) May 31, 2020
Today, its important we know where people stand. I stand alongside my brother and everyone else out fighting. We must change and its going to take compassion, empathy, and understanding. Justice wont be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. https://t.co/Ti3O7twP0q— Abel Porter (@Ah_bell) May 30, 2020
Towns, who announced his transfer to Ohio State in March, graduated from Harvard earlier this week. The graduate transfer, who was the 2017-18 Ivy League Player of the Year, is set to join the Buckeyes for the upcoming season and has two remaining seasons of eligibility.
Towns' former coach at Harvard, Tommy Amaker, sent out a tweet in support of his former player on Saturday afternoon.
A statement from Coach Amaker. pic.twitter.com/vCG0YO9YBP— Harvard Basketball (@HarvardMBB) May 30, 2020
Earlier on Friday, Ohio State men's basketball coach Chris Holtmann, each of his assistant coaches and several players took to Twitter to speak out against racial injustice.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/xu0lPBVM1t— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) May 29, 2020
Per a source, Holtmann and Towns spoke by phone on Friday night after Towns returned to his apartment.