Ohio State sophomore forward EJ Liddell met with reporters on Wednesday to recap the disappointing end to a promising season for the men’s basketball team. He also discussed the recent social media threats directed at him following Friday’s first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament. Here are the highlights of everything Liddell had to say.

— The negative messages he received definitely bothered him because he plays the game with a smile on his face.

— He’s had no updates from police.

— This wasn’t the first time he’s gotten messages like that. It was just after losing a tough game, “I just felt it was time to say something.” He would rather people see athletes as humans and help pick them up after a game. They lost their social lives this past year so it has been difficult for everyone regardless of outcomes.

— He knew other players were receiving similar messages after the game. “I just wanted to use my voice.” He’s okay with criticism but that’s not constructive criticism.

— This loss will help motivate them through every workout in the offseason.

— Messages are 98% positive but that 2% comes at you pretty rough. “Sometimes fans get too high or too low and they act out of emotion.”

— He has received feedback from other athletes around the nation who have gone through similar things. It’s tough to put in so much work and then to receive comments like that, it’s not okay. Not just toward athletes but toward people in general.

— Social media has been their social life for this past year and it’s hard to turn it off because you feel like you’re missing out on the world.

— It’s hard to just ignore what people say because everybody has feelings, especially when you’re already low after a loss.

— He has not yet made a decision on next year. He’s just focused on relaxing a little bit and getting back to his video games.

— “There’s a lot of trolls on the internet.”

— He’s fine talking about this. “It had to be said by someone honestly.” Messages like this are too common toward athletes and he wanted to bring awareness to it.

— He’d like threats that are made to be taken seriously and maybe that would dissuade people in the future.

— He stayed away from his phone after a while after the game. It wasn’t until the drive home to Columbus that he checked his messages and saw those.

— He didn’t hurt anybody to deserve those comments.


— He would get messages during his senior year telling him he sucked and was a terrible person. He shook it off because he wanted to have tough skin. He leaned on his parents and they told him everybody has opinions and to keep your head high.

— He didn’t think this was going to get as much attention as he did. There were a lot of big-time people reaching out to tell him they also received messages, even a Major League Baseball.

— Asked if he would like to follow through with prosecution if the people are found and he said “not really. I try not to think about it.”

— Testing the NBA waters is an option. He’s going to discuss it with his family. He’s just going to get away from basketball for a bit right now.

— No doubt this team could be back in the top 10 next year. If everybody puts in the work, it’s going to be tough to beat them. Shout out to Malaki Branham for his 37 points in the state title game.

— How important is it to show people that you don’t have to have the thickest skin? A lot of athletes are supposed to be looked at as entertainers and tough always. But sometimes things get to them. Some athletes take it differently than he does, but he has a supportive family that he would never want to have people saying to them what they said to him and he wouldn’t want his family to say those kinds of things either.

— It was a very select number of people who said bad things. There were way more Buckeye fans supporting him. It doesn’t weigh on him. He wakes up with a smile on his face.

— If he were to meet the people who sent those message face to face he would ask them why they would send something like that and what makes them thing it’s okay.

— This season was a roller coaster. He worked all summer trying to improve himself and he thinks he did that. He elevated his game. He played hard and gave his all. “It kind of hurts that it had to come to an end so soon.”

— “Just know that I’m not the only one going through things like this.” “I just used my voice.” If more athletes do the same maybe this will all come to an end.

— How hard was this year? “It was definitely tough. I’ve never spent that much time away from my family. It was very tough for us as a team to give up our social lives.” The team sacrificed a lot this year. He thanked the coaching staff and medical team for making the season a possibility.

— People on the outside don’t understand how much the team gave up in order to play. He doesn’t regret it though because they all got to play the game that they love.

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