For more information, please contact:
Dave Silverman, President 732-648-9333
Blair Scott, Communications Director 256-701-6265
AMERICAN ATHEISTS: STOP ALLOWING PUBLIC BIGOTRY AND PREJUDICE OF ATHEISTS
An Atheist civil rights group announced today its disappointment in the remarks made by an Ohio State University football player on Twitter, which called for his followers to "show some hate" to an atheist.
Jake Russell, #21 punter, tweeted at night on January 24th, "my roommate max rouse (look him up on Facebook) is an atheist, please show him some hate." By the morning the tweet had been deleted but not before it was captured by Twitter users.
Greg Lammers, Missouri State Director for American Atheists, contacted Javaune Adams-Gaston, OSU Vice President of Student Life, who assured American Atheists that the school will investigate the matter immediately.
Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists, stated, "Atheists are the last group against whom someone can publicly show bigotry and prejudice without fear of repercussions or consequences. American Atheists' policy is to call out this prejudice and bigotry wherever we see it."
Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists, said, "I imagine that the NCAA, the school, and plenty of sports media would be all over this incident if Mr. Russell had asked his Twitter followers to "show some hate" to a Jew, African-American, Hindu, homosexual or other minority."
Mr. Scott continued, "It is our hope that one day Mr. Russell and others like him will learn the value of pluralism in our society. The Great Melting Pot still exists and is something we should be proud to support."
American Atheists pointed out that hateful actions are often the direct result of hate speech, and Mr. Russell will bear some responsibility if his call-to-hate results in violence against his roommate. Mr. Scott noted that the victim can attend meetings of The Ohio State University Students for Freethought, which is a group of like-minded individuals on the campus. The group is an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide organization that defends civil rights for Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church-mosque-temple and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.