MSU's Rocket Watts to E.J. Liddell: I Thought I Was the Only One Getting Threats

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2021

Michigan State guard Rocket Watts (2) plays against Maryland in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Michigan State guard Rocket Watts indicated he had also received death threats in his response to a post by Ohio State star E.J. Liddell that showed examples of hateful abuse he had received on social media:

Rocket Watts @RocketWatts

Wow I thought I was the only one going through this 🙇🏾‍♂️ @EasyE2432 keep ya head up My G 💯 https://t.co/dexdcB1s0l

The threatening messages Liddell received came after the No. 2-seeded Buckeyes suffered an upset loss to No. 15 Oral Roberts in Round 1 of the 2021 NCAA tournament.

According to Myron Medcalf of ESPN, Ohio State has contacted the police regarding the messages.

Watts offered support for the fellow Big Ten player while acknowledging he also received hateful messages online.

Like Ohio State, Michigan State also lost its first game of March Madness. The Spartans suffered an 86-80 overtime loss to UCLA in Thursday's First Four game, marking the first time the program failed to reach the Round of 64 since 1997.

It was a relatively poor game from Watts, who finished 4-of-12 from the field and 1-of-6 from three-point range.

The sophomore had been a key part of Michigan State's late-season surge to even get an at-large bid, scoring 21 in an upset win over rival Michigan on March 7. He averaged 7.7 points and 2.7 assists per game in 2020-21 and would be a key part of the roster next season if he returns to school.