Ohio State’s Seth Towns was detained and released by Columbus police after being part of a peaceful downtown protest Friday afternoon.


Towns is clearly identifiable in in a photograph posted to Twitter, and the Dispatch has confirmed his participation. A Northland graduate, Towns graduated from Harvard with a degree in sociology Thursday.


He posted a video to Twitter, identifying himself by name and then delivering a message.


"In a span of just 24 hours I walked from a Harvard virtual graduation stage to the back of a police van, both of which I an equally proud of," he said. "I and so many others met in downtown Columbus to peacefully protest the murder of George Floyd and, along with some others who are failed by this country, to fight for justice at the face of inequity and to express our pain.


"True voice is not found in words spoken but the steps taken. These hurtful times call for us to come together to unite our voices to be true and fearless in our expression of compassion and to take steps to create the change we seek, the change we need.


"The world needs to know that we are hurting. To those who are silent, speak up. Use your voice for one who fails to act on his truth is no one at all. And for those who are, keep going. I’m right there with you."


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. pic.twitter.com/qtvXmw0Fwq

— Seth (@seth_towns17) May 30, 2020

He was not arrested, and no charges were filed. According to a source, Towns did not move when asked to move by the police.


Seth Towns. pic.twitter.com/p1OK4YlrpB

— jihan (@jihancierra) May 30, 2020

He excelled academically and athletically at Northland, where he was a member of the National Honor Society, placed second in the NESB National Tri-Math-A-Lon competition, was named to the Super Honor Roll all 16 quarters of high school and served as the Stem Club academic chair as a senior and was a peer tutor.


Towns then graduated from Harvard before opting to return to his home city as a graduate transfer in late March. He has two years of eligibility with the Buckeyes.


Today, I graduate from Harvard with a B.A. in Sociology. I celebrate this achievement not for my own ensuing yield, but for the beacon of light I may become for those following me. City League -> Ivy League. So excited for what’s to come. Who’d have thought? pic.twitter.com/2oGdBWBV6F

— Seth (@seth_towns17) May 28, 2020

The protests in downtown Columbus were in reaction to Monday’s killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer. Protests have continued to spread nationwide, and Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann released a statement to his Twitter page Friday to share his thoughts on the situation.


In it, Holtmann said that, "Based on our past dialogue, few topics are as relevant to our team as this one."


Holtmann released a statement later Saturday, stating that he wanted to wait until Towns put out one of his own.


"We fully support our players’ right to peacefully protest," Holtmann said. "In the time I’ve gotten to know Seth, it’s clear that he has a heart for social justice."


Statement from Coach Holtmann on @seth_towns17 pic.twitter.com/yMrzEpIZlg

— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) May 30, 2020

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith also expressed his support for Towns.


Proud of you, Seth! https://t.co/G3Ovch8foF

— gene smith (@OSU_AD) May 30, 2020

Ohio State’s players are at their respective homes awaiting a return to campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Saturday afternoon, Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, who coached Towns for the last four years, released a statement saying that, "I fully support, and am proud of, Seth in his continued fight for social justice, a cause that has been near and dear to his heart since he arrived on campus four years ago."


A statement from Coach Amaker. pic.twitter.com/vCG0YO9YBP

— Harvard Basketball (@HarvardMBB) May 30, 2020

ajardy@dispatch.com


@AdamJardy