The wave of apparently racially motivated hate letters that has threatened various notables has now struck New York Yankees star Derek Jeter, who’s received a threatening message warning him to stop dating white women.
The letter, mailed to Jeter at Yankee Stadium, called him a “traitor to his race,” according to New York’s Daily News. (Jeter’s father is African American and his mother is white.) The message told him to “stop or he’ll be shot or set on fire,” said a law enforcement source.
In the last three years, 60 similar letters have been sent to professional black athletes and other well-known African American men across the country, including civic and business leaders. Among them: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, married actors Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel, tennis star James Blake’s parents and Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, the Daily News reports.
The mail, postmarked from cities in northeastern Ohio and Pennsylvania, criticizes the men and demands that they stop their interracial relationships, “or they’re going to be castrated, shot or set on fire.”
“The wording is very similar to letters that have been sent to other prominent people across the country,” special agent Scott Wilson of the FBI tells the paper, which reports that the matter is under investigation by both the bureau and the New York Police Department’s hate crimes unit.