Ohio State has contacted police after men’s basketball forward EJ Liddell received abuse and threats on social media following the Buckeyes’ loss to Oral Roberts in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Following the loss, Liddell shared screenshots of messages he said he received from two angry fans that included the threats. In response, Liddell asked, “What did I do to deserve this? I’m human.”
"You are such a f---ing disgrace,” one person wrote to Liddell. “Don't ever show your face at Ohio State. We hate you. I hope you die I really do."
Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? I’m human. pic.twitter.com/djXzhSH0q8— E.J. Liddell (@EasyE2432) March 20, 2021
"These comments, while not from or representative of Ohio State fans, are vile, dangerous and reflect the worst of humanity," wrote Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann in a statement that was reported by ESPN. "EJ is an outstanding young man who had a tremendous sophomore season and he was instrumental in our team's success. We will take the necessary actions here at the University to address this immediately."
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said school officials have contacted police about the situation.
"The threatening social media attack E.J. Liddell faced after the game yesterday is appalling and will not be tolerated," Smith tweeted Saturday morning. "To the few of you who have chosen to inappropriately rail against our players on social media, stop. Hate and derision have no place in Buckeye Nation or in civil society. If you cross the line and threaten our players, you will be hearing from the authorities. That I promise you."
Liddell said he wants an explanation for the comments.
"Comments don't get to me but I just wanna know why," Liddell wrote on Twitter. "I've never done anything to anyone in my life to be approached like this.
"This is not me saying anything negative about Ohio State fans. I love you all dearly and I've felt nothing but appreciated since the first day I stepped on campus."