Michigan fan apologizes to WR Ronnie Bell for hateful email following loss to Penn State
A Michigan student has apologized for sending a hateful email sent to Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell following the 19th-ranked Wolverines' 28-21 loss to No. 6 Penn State on Saturday night in Happy Valley. Bell dropped what would have been the game-tying touchdown with 2:01 remaining on Saturday night. Cameras caught the 6-foot, 184-pound sophomore sobbing on the sideline during the final seconds of the game.
Bell's father, Aaron, posted a screenshot on Twitter of the email Connor Grady sent with the subject line "Quit already please." That screenshot included Grady's email signature which indicated that he is a student in the Class of 2019.
"Thank you for reaching out for comment," Grady wrote in his apology email sent to Larry Lage of the Associated Press. "I would like to state for the record that I wish to apologize to Mr. Bell and any other members of the Michigan community who were rightly offended by my thoughtless message to Mr. Bell. I have privately apologized to Mr. Bell, and I have also apologized publicly to the Bell family. I am a proud Michigan alumnus and a passionate fan who has supported the team for years. However, my conduct was not acceptable under any circumstances, and I make no excuses for my behavior. I am deeply sorry to have brought shame and embarrassment to the Michigan community, and I hope that the community can forgive me for such unbecoming behavior. Thank you for the opportunity to apologize in your story. Sincerely, Connor Grady."
Grady's initial email included insults directed at Bell following the heartbreaking defeat.
"Please quit the team already," Grady wrote to Bell. "Utterly sad that my tuition goes to paying for the scholarship for such a scrub a– player like you. Bum a–. Go play basketball somewhere. Please do us all a favor and never play football again."
Michigan had marched 44 yards on 11 plays to get to the Penn State 3-yard line with 2:01 left. Facing fourth-and-3, quarterback Shea Patterson escaped pressure and threw over the middle to Bell who found space in the end zone. It appeared that Bell had the game-tying catch made, but Lamont Wade hit him and broke up the pass, sealing the win for the Nittany Lions.
Bell was one of the most important players on the field in spite of the drop. He caught five passes for 82 yards on the night, and was a big reason why the Wolverines had a chance in the fourth quarter.