In addition to the initial tweet, Wheeler responded to two other users, calling them “queer,” before tweeting, “O geez I got all these fag boys mad at me now.”
Wheeler sent the tweets a day after former Missouri defensive end and NFL Draft hopeful Michael Sam revealed that he was gay in interviews with ESPN and The New York Times.
He has since deleted the tweets and his Twitter account, @sam_wheeler34, has been deactivated.
Sam, the Associated Press’ SEC Defensive Player of the Year, is projected to be chosen in the early rounds of the draft in May, and could become the first openly NFL player. He said he decided to come out publicly now because he sensed that rumors were circulating.
Kent State athletic officials denounced Wheeler’s tweets, and gave no indication if or when his suspension would be lifted.
Article continues below“As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam’s head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter,” said Kent State Head Wrestling Coach Jim Andrassy, in a statement. “I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward.”
Joel Nielsen, Kent State Director of Athletics, added: “On behalf of Kent State University, we consider these comments to be ignorant and not indicative of the beliefs held by our university community as a whole. This is an educational opportunity for all of our student-athletes.”