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Illinois Looking Into Racist Message Sent to Star Center

Brock Fritz

University of Illinois star Kofi Cockburn called out a racist Instagram comment he received in the wake of the Illini’s second-round NCAA tournament loss to Loyola-Chicago.

Cockburn said, “I blame his parents,” when sharing the comment, which started with “Go back home.” Cockburn, who had 21 points and nine rebounds in Sunday’s loss, was born in Jamaica before moving to New York.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reports that an Illinois spokesperson said the university is looking into the situation and that the school has identified the commenter.

Cockburn is the second Big Ten Conference player this week to highlight the horrific messages players receive on social media. After Ohio State’s first-round loss to Oral Roberts, sophomore forward E.J. Liddell asked, “What did I do to deserve this? I’m human,” when sharing a string of threatening, insulting messages.

"The threatening social media attack E.J. Liddell faced after the game yesterday is appalling and will not be tolerated," Ohio State athletic director Gene 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."

Related content: Fans Threaten Ohio State Player on Social Media

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