Collegiate Stars Receive Threats from Fans After Devastating Upsets
2nd seed, Ohio State, lost in their first round matchup against Oral Roberts, a team few were aware of prior to the upset. Ohio State lost to a 15 seed, a very rare occurrence, happening only nine times in the history of March Madness.
Following that loss, Buckeyes star E.J. Liddell received horrible messages on social media which threatened him and called him racial slurs.
Liddel released those messages to the public, where he received tons of support from fellow players and fans. Ohio State also contacted law enforcement to address those who dealt the threats. Liddel expressed his disappointment at the fans, and acknowledged that while “98% of Buckeyes fans are supportive even in the bad times, there’s always the other 2%… They act out of emotion.“
E.J. Liddell is not alone in his experience. After the second round, following Illinois’s loss at the hands of Loyola-Chicago, big man Kofi Cockburn received similar messages on instagram, to which he responded “I blame [their] parents.”
These threats are not new, and many athletes, collegiate and professional, reached out to support Liddel and Cockburn. Liddel hopes that by speaking out, and utilizing law enforcement, people will think twice before clicking send on a threatening post.
Avi Paulson is a student at the College Preparatory School. He lives in the Bay Area, and is an avid viewer of baseball. He plays various sports, and is a writer for At the Buzzer.
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