Former NFLer Ryan Clark Describes Son Being Called Racial Slur at Restaurant

Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Ryan Clark (25) sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. The Steelers won 20-7. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Former NFL defensive back Ryan Clark spoke out about his son, Jordan, being called a racial slur at a Whataburger in Arizona recently.

Appearing on Friday’s Get Up, Clark said his son has “faced racism and he’s heard the word, but it never affected him in this way”: 

Get Up @GetUpESPN

It will be well worth your time today to watch @realrclark25 speak on a recent incident involving his son, Jordan, and two other Arizona State football players who say they were called a racial slur by a Whataburger customer on Wednesday. https://t.co/fftWwvgyx8

A sophomore defensive back at Arizona State, Jordan Clark tweeted about the encounter Wednesday, describing how a white woman directed the slur at him and some of his teammates (warning: tweets contain uncensored slurs):

Jordan Clark @Jclark21_

Read please. @Whataburger https://t.co/W6LVSqlm0N

Echoing what he said on Get Up, Ryan Clark responded to his son’s tweet for not preparing him for the racism he would face in America.

Jordan’s teammates, Nolan Matthews and T Lee, also tweeted about their experience at the restaurant that night. 

Arizona State President Michael Crow issued a statement Wednesday:

“We are aware of the situation our student-athletes reported happening last night (Tuesday) at Whataburger where they were subjected to racist behavior and name calling by a customer. 

“There is no excuse for this. It is a continuation of gross ignorance, racism and hatred that permeates facets of our society. We understand that Whataburger has stepped-up and requested more information. We strongly encourage Whataburger to fully investigate this situation and assess what steps it must take to deal with customers who exhibit this kind of behavior. It cannot be tolerated.

“Sun Devil athletics is in continuous dialogue with student-athletes about the issue of racism in our society and will use this instance as a learning moment. Our commitment to all of our students is that we will provide an environment free of racism and that when confronted with it, we will not shy away from addressing the issue and that we will provide resources and tools to help students navigate and manage through these situations.”

Whataburger’s official Twitter account also responded to Jordan’s tweets, writing they “apologized to the players and their families for this terrible experience” and would reinforce “training with our employee on how this incident was handled.” 

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