One day after he officially graduated from Harvard, Ohio State transfer Seth Towns was detained by police in Columbus during a protest over the death of George Floyd.
A source confirmed to NBC Sports that Towns was taken into custody, but that he was released as of Friday night. Video of the incident was obtained by Eleven Warriors, who broke the news early on Saturday morning.
Footage of Seth Towns in police custody earlier Friday at the scene of a protest in Columbus. Towns, an incoming Ohio State basketball transfer, graduated from Harvard Thursday.
Towns is no longer in police custody and is safe at home, according to a source. pic.twitter.com/kFptHH63BN
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) May 30, 2020
Columbus police announced that five people were arrested on Friday, the second day protests in the city, but according to the source, Seth Towns was not one of the five arrested. He was protesting peacefully when police asked him to move off the street, and Towns refused. He was handcuffed, moved and released.
“In a span of just 24 hours, I walked across a Harvard virtual graduation stage into the back of police van alongside other peaceful protestors—both of which I am equally proud of,” Towns said in a statement. “To those who are silent, speak up—to those who are hurting, unite; and for those who are fighting with the weapons of love and justice, keep going. I’m right there with you!”
— Seth 💤 (@seth_towns17) May 30, 2020
Ohio State AD Gene Smith tweeted, “Proud of you, Seth,” on Saturday, while Tommy Amaker, the head coach at Harvard, released a statement in support of his former player.
“We fully support out players’ right to peacefully protest,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said. “In the time I’ve gotten to know Seth, it’s clear that he has a heart for social justice. As I said in my statement yesterday morning, we will continue to openly discuss this within our program.”
Towns, who is the most socially conscious player in the Ohio State program, last played for Harvard during the 2017-18 season, when he was the Ivy League Player of the Year. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 16 points and shot 44.1 percent from three as a sophomore for the Crimson. He is eligible to play this season, and has two years of eligibility remaining.