Ohio State suffered the biggest loss of the NCAA Tournament so far on Friday, falling to 15-seed Oral Roberts. After the game, Buckeyes star E.J. Liddell was on the wrong end of something far too prevalent in college sports: harassment from fans online.
“Honestly, what did I do to deserve this?” Liddell tweeted, sharing the unprompted messages he received from “fans” after the loss. “I’m human.”
Among the messages were threats by one person, to find and assault and kill Liddell. Obviously everyone hopes that it is just some horrible braggadocio by some idiot hiding behind an anonymous Instagram account, but you have to take those things seriously. Police are currently looking into the matter, as they should.
“Recent social media comments to EJ Liddell, while not from or representative of Ohio State fans, are vile, dangerous, and reflect the worst of humanity,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “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 to address this immediately.”
— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) March 20, 2021
Liddle averaged over 16 points per game this year, and had a huge statistical outing against Oral Roberts, with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists. He had some unfortunate missed free throws, but Ohio State wouldn’t have been in the position to be a two-seed without him, and he’s far from the only player that made plays that hurt the Buckeyes on Friday.
And moreso, whatever his failures on the court were, there’s absolutely no excuse to say the types of things he received to anyone.
Hopefully those who harassed E.J. Liddle are found and dealt with appropriately.
The post Ohio State Coach Chris Holtmann Addresses Online Harassment Of E.J. Liddell appeared first on The Spun.