Ohio State Forward E.J. Liddell responded to a few angry fans who sent threatening messages to him after the Buckeyes were eliminated from the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, some of whom wrote on his Twitter account: “What did I do to deserve this? I’m one Human . “
Liddell and the No. 2 seeded Buckeyes fell in overtime between 75 and 72 to No. 15 Oral Roberts in the tournament’s first big surprise in two years.
He then shared screenshots of messages he received from the two disgruntled fans, including one who threatened to find him and physically assault him.
Another fan wrote to Liddell, “You are such a shame. Never show your face in the state of Ohio. We hate you. I hope you die, I really do.”
“I don’t get comments, but I just want to know why,” Liddell wrote on Twitter. “I’ve never done anything to anyone in my life to be addressed like that.
“I don’t say anything bad about Ohio State fans. I love you all very much, and I’ve only felt valued from the first day I stepped on campus.”
Former Buckeyes star Jared Sullinger was one of those who threw their support behind Liddell, writing that some people “don’t see you as people, but rather as entertainment”.
“Continue to be the young man you are, brother,” Sullinger wrote to Liddell. “Proud of you. Use these messages to stoke your fire.”
Liddell, a sophomore, had 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Buckeyes, who finished second in the Big Ten and went into the first round as a 16-point favorite on Friday.