Seth Towns can be seen being detained by Columbus Police in the bottom left photo.

Seth Towns, an Ohio State men’s basketball player, was detained by Columbus Police Friday at a protest in downtown Columbus, Ohio, to express frustrations over the death of George Floyd and to demand change.

Towns, who transferred to the university as a graduate student March 21, was a top 10 prospect in the state in the 2016 recruiting class, and he spent four seasons at Harvard. He graduated from Harvard Thursday with a degree in sociology.

Towns was released from police detainment and is “safe and sound,” Town’s mother, Melissa Smitherman, said. 

“I, with so many others, met in downtown Columbus, Ohio to peacefully protest the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless other unarmed American citizens who have been murdered by those who profess to keep the peace,” Towns said on Twitter.

The Buckeye received support from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and head coach Chris Holtmann on Twitter.

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

In his sophomore season, Towns averaged 16 points per game and 5.7 rebounds before a knee injury in 2018 kept him sidelined for two seasons. 

With two years of eligibility remaining, the graduate transfer announced his commitment to Ohio State March 11.

Photos and videos of his detainment circulated on social media Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday morning. Several people commented on the posts identifying Towns as the man being handcuffed by an officer.

Towns posted on Twitter the following:

Ohio State basketball posted on Twitter the following: 

Gene Smith posted on Twitter the following:


Updated at 4:39 p.m. with statement from Towns which he posted on Twitter.

Updated at 5:59 p.m. with a statement from Chris Holtmann and a comment from Gene Smith which were posted on Twitter.

Jasmine Hilton contributed reporting