Ohio State has reached out to the police, a source told ESPN’s Myron Medcalf after Buckeyes moved forward E.J. Liddell received threatening messages after the team was eliminated from the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday.
Following the loss, Liddell shared screenshots of messages he received from the two disgruntled fans, including one who threatened to find him and physically assault him. When Liddell replied to the two fans, he asked, “What did I do to deserve this? I’m human.”
Another fan wrote to Liddell, “You are such a shame. Never show your face in the state of Ohio. We hate you. I hope you die, I really do.”
Buckeyes trainer Chris Holtmann made a statement Saturday morning supporting Liddell.
“While these comments are not made by or representative of Ohio State fans, they are hideous, dangerous and reflect the worst of humanity,” said Holtmann. “EJ is an outstanding young man who has had a tremendous second season and has been instrumental in the success of our team. We will take the necessary steps here at the university to address this immediately.”
Gene Smith, Ohio state sports director, pledged police involvement.
“The threatened social media attack E.J. Liddell faced yesterday after the game is appalling and will not be tolerated,” said Smith tweeted on Saturday morning. “For the few of you who have chosen to rail inappropriately against our players on social media, quit. Hate and ridicule have no place in Buckeye Nation or civil society. When you cross the line and ours Threaten players, you will hear about it. ” the authorities. I promise you. “
Liddell said he’s not afraid of the comments but wants an explanation.
“I don’t get comments, but I just want to know why,” Liddell wrote on Twitter. “I’ve never done anything to anyone in my life to be addressed like that.
“I don’t say anything bad about Ohio State fans. I love you all very much, and I’ve only felt valued from the first day I stepped on campus.”
Former Ohio State star Jared Sullinger was one of those who threw their support behind Liddell, writing that some people “don’t see you as someone more like entertainment.”
“Continue to be the young man you are, brother,” Sullinger wrote to Liddell. “Proud of you. Use these messages to stoke your fire.”
Liddell, a sophomore, had 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Buckeyes, who finished second in the Big Ten and went into the first round as a 16-point favorite on Friday.
“The vast majority of Buckeye fans recognize that no one is more disappointed with our unexpected early departure from the NCAA tournament than our coaches and players,” said Smith. “You have put all the work into sacrificing considerable freedoms, especially during the COVID pandemic. Thank you to all of you who have contacted with compassion.”