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Ohio State's E.J. Liddell receives hateful messages following loss in first round of NCAA tournament

The athletic department says they contacted the Ohio State Police Saturday morning to investigate the situation.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State's E.J. Liddell posted two screenshots of hateful insults and threats he received on social media following their loss to Oral Roberts Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Liddell, who had 23 points and 14 rebounds in the game, revealed on his Twitter feed he received threatening messages. He posted images of the messages, including one that said “I hope you die I really do.” Other messages included racist insults.

“Honestly, what did I do to deserve this?” Liddell posted on Twitter. “I’m human.”  

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith Tweeted in support of Liddell saying, "I will support our student-athletes in and out of competition! I have nothing but love and respect for E.J. He epitomizes all that we hope for in our student-athletes."

Chris Holtmann, the head coach for the Buckeyes, also Tweeted saying, "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."

University President Kristina Johnson released the following statement on Twitter, "Hatred and bigotry have no place at Ohio State or in civil society. We will not tolerate violent and racist language, and @OhioState is committed to investigating racism and threats of physical violence in our community. We are united in support of all of our students."

The athletic department says they contacted the Ohio State Police Saturday morning to investigate the situation.

Liddell said by revealing the threats and insults he was not “saying anything negative about Ohio State fans.”

“I love you all dearly and I’ve felt nothing but appreciated since the first day I stepped on campus,” he said.

Liddell said he was confused to be targeted by the messages.

“Comments don’t get to me but I just wanna know why,” he said. “I’ve never done anything to anyone in my life to be approached like this.”