President's Equity Commissions, Forum on Black Affairs support Amaechi

October 03, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Groups composed of faculty and staff in support of diversity efforts at Penn State have voiced their support of John Amaechi, grand marshal for the 2013 Penn State Homecoming parade.

Amaechi, Class of 1995, is a former Nittany Lion basketball star who wrote a New York Times best-seller, “Man in the Middle,” about his experiences as a gay athlete. In August, the Homecoming committee announced that he will serve as the grand marshal for the 2013 parade.

Members of Penn State’s Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equity, the Commission for Women, the Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity and the Forum on Black Affairs issued a statement announcing that they are “deeply saddened to hear of the malicious threats and hurtful comments that are being directed toward alumnus John Amaechi, the 2013 Grand Marshal for Penn State’s Homecoming parade.

"Although opinions of students, faculty, staff and alumni are critical to the discourse that makes Penn State a robust and thriving academic community, it negatively affects us all when comments sink to the level of racist slurs and homophobic insults. We support the Penn State Homecoming committee, John Amaechi and the thousands of Penn Staters who are proud to convey a welcoming and positive Penn State spirit during Homecoming festivities.”

An All-Big Ten and a two-time Academic All-American at Penn State, Amaechi went on to play five seasons in the NBA. In 2011, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his athletic accomplishments and charitable works. He also is the founder of Amaechi Performance Systems, a professional and management consulting firm.

Homecoming activities begin Oct. 5, and the parade begins at 6 p.m. Oct. 11. 

Last Updated January 10, 2015