Lamar Stevens defends Pat Chambers following statement from Rasir Bolton
Former Penn State star Lamar Stevens is defending Pat Chambers following statements made by ex-Nittany Lion Rasir Bolton against the head coach on Monday.
Bolton, who played at Penn State during the 2018-19 season, revealed on Monday that the reason he decided to transfer from Penn State after one season was because of a “noose” comment, as well as other racially insensitive comments, made by Chambers during his time in State College.
“For the past year, many have questioned why I left Penn State after my freshman year. I was a scholarship athlete on the Men’s Basketball team, I got playing time, I started part of the season and I was on the Dean’s List,” Bolton said in a statement he put on Twitter. “I formed many relationships at Penn State that I still maintain today. However; no one ever stops to consider that there is more to a college athlete than the sport. We are human, we are young men and women, and in my case, I am a young black man first.
“A ‘noose’ around my neck is why I left Penn State. Head Coach Patrick Chambers, the day after his one-game suspension in January 2019, in talking to me referenced a ‘noose’ around my neck. A noose; symbolic of lynching, defined as one of the most powerful symbols directed at African Americans invoking the history of lynching, slavery and racial terrorism. Due to other interactions with Coach, I knew this was no slip of the tongue.”
Shortly after the statement, Stevens spoke up in defense of Chambers.
“He used a poor choice of words but Coach Chambers is a a great man who made a mistake. His actions towards all of his current and past players speaks much more volume. Ask them,” Stevens wrote on Twitter.
“Do I wish he used another phrase to get his message across to Rasir? 100%. BUT He is far from a racist or a bad man.”
Chambers also issued an apology after Bolton sent his statement out on Twitter.
“I’ve realized the pain my words and ignorance caused Rasir Bolton and his family and I apologize to Rasir and the Bolton family for what I said. I failed to comprehend the experiences of others, and the reference I made was hurtful, insensitive and unacceptable,” Chambers said. “I cannot apologize enough for what I said, and I will carry that forever.
“I try and respond to mistakes I have made by learning and growing, and I hold myself accountable and strive to be a better person and a better coach. In talking with our players and their families, I am committed to seeking knowledge and gaining better understanding of diverse perspectives and impact of bias in our society. I have much more to learn.”
You can view Bolton’s full statement here.
Stevens was a star during his career at Penn State. Last season, he averaged 17.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting better than 42 percent from the floor.