COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State sophomore E.J. Liddell says “98%” of messages he receives via social media are positive messages, mostly from fans.
The other 2% tell a different story.
Liddell spoke with reporters Wednesday morning about the online threats and insults he received after the Buckeyes’ NCAA Tournament opening round loss to Oral Roberts Friday. Liddell posted photos of messages he received, including racially insensitive and directly threatening comments. He and OSU athletics submitted a formal complaint to OSU police. Liddell says he is not sure where that complaint, or any further investigation, stands currently.
Liddell says athletes he’s heard from since going public have shared similar stories of harassment, but most do not want to appear “soft” for calling out that behavior. He says he wanted to bring the issue to light because no athlete deserves that treatment, win or lose.
“Constructive criticism is a lot different than threats.” Liddell said.
Liddell says he has not made any decision about his future or whether he would enter this year’s NBA Draft. He was a first team All-Big Ten selection this season after leading the Buckeyes in scoring and rebounding.