Twitter Bashes UCLA Bruin Tyger Campbell’s Freeform Locs | Y’all Really Hate His Blackness?

Tyger Campbell and his teammates helped restore the prestige of the UCLA men’s basketball program. However, although out of the NCAA Tourney after a crushing three-point loss to Gonzaga, people are talking more about what’s on his head than how he uses his hands on the hardwood.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native sports freeform locs, which are locs that have naturally formed without any manipulation with the new growth — Cue JAY-Z and his protegè J Cole — among the adherents to the freeform loc culture. Popularized by cultural icons like artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, free-form locs come in many different shapes and style and are one of the boldest commitments to pride in your natural hair as a Black person.


On the NCAA Division I stage, however, it is a straight culture shock to the sensibilities of middle America and even to more traditional-leaning Black folks who feel it’s a bad look.

On Twitter, just as many Black users were heckling and judging Campbell’s hairstyle choices.

“Tyger Campbell probably hasn’t washed his hair in 5 years wtf is this Lmao,” posted @iam_johnw whosse picture is of a Black man in his profile.

The support also came from those who understood that the style is not devoid of normal routine cleanliness.

“I’m sick of people acting like free forms = being dirty and I especially hate when comes from other black people,” posted user @gary6below.

For Campbell, who began letting his hair grow at 11 years old due to his distaste for haircuts, the freeform is now an expression of himself. It also was a compromise between him and his parents, who reportedly consented to the polarizing style in exchange for a promise that he would get any tattoos. He lived up to that promise and sports no ink. In the last ten years, he has had precisely one haircut.

“It’s just my hair to me; it just looks all crazy,” Campbell told The Los Angeles Times. “I’ve had it for so long; I don’t really look at it like a big deal.

“I don’t really worry about it. I just focus on what I can control, how I can help the team,” he continued. “It would bother me if it was something like me making a mistake, but I can’t control what the fans are chanting at me, so I try not to let it affect me.”

Ignorance Is Bliss

Still, crowds outside of L.A. throughout his tenure with the Bruins have let him know their lack of appreciation for his sense of style.

Reportedly, during one game in Arizona against the Wildcats, fans in the stands derisively chanted his name for 35 minutes based on their dislike of his hair. The repetitive action made Trez, his 12-year-old brother cry. His mother even told Wildcats coach Tommy Lloyd about himself fir not calming the unruly crowd.

“I don’t know how many grown men heckle another man about their hair, that’s weird,” his mother, Jennifer Krekeler-Campbell, told The Los Angeles Times. “But they do.”

“People think they can try to get into his head; they don’t.”

The curse of judgment against all-natural Black hairstyles is still as prevalent as ever, but Tyger Campbell could care less as he used his senior year to storm the world athletic stage.

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