COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After a first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, E.J. Liddell, a star player for Ohio State University’s men’s basketball team, is receiving multiple threats and racist remarks online.
OSU fans and students alike are showing their support for Liddell.
After tweeting out the awful comments he received after Friday night’s game, Liddell was showered with far more messages of praise and love from his teammates, fans, and the community.
Liddell was Ohio State’s leading scorer and rebounder this season, and he played well in Friday’s first-round game, scoring 23 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
Which is why the comments insulting his race and threatening his life came as such a shock and disappointment.
A statement by OSU head coach Chris Holtmann Saturday said, in part, that the comments were, “vile, dangerous, and reflect the worst of humanity,” adding that OSU will take necessary actions to address this immediately.
OSU athletic director Gene Smith also said the athletic department assisted Liddell in filing a complaint through University police.
But students and fans alike here at OSU were just as supportive of Liddell and his outstanding efforts in Friday night’s game.
“I don’t think it’s fair, it’s just one bad game, it just happened at an unfortunate time,” said freshman Lucas Bornel. “They don’t deserve the hate they get.”
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous. He’s still like a student here, and he’s basically got us through the season, best player, so it’s kind of tough to see,” said Joe Sweeterman, OSU freshman.
“Yeah, OSU fans need to wake up and realize we had a good year either way, so I mean, it was a tough loss the other day, but you got to respect E.J. and his family and everything,” added OSU freshman Connor Stolly. “It’s terrible.”
Liddell responded to the fans and players who reached out to him as well, thanking them for their support.