Illinois' Kofi Cockburn Calls Out Racist IG Comment After Loyola-Chicago Upset

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn plays during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn drew attention to a racist and xenophobic comment he received following the Fighting Illini's loss to Loyola-Chicago in the 2021 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

"Go back home ya bum," an Instagram user commented (via USA Today's Chris Bumbaca). "F--king lost to Loyola. Go sit your monkey ass on the couch."

While posting a screenshot of the comment in his Instagram story, Cockburn wrote: "I blame his parents."

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg confirmed with an Illinois spokesman the university is "looking into the situation" and already identified who wrote the comment.

Cockburn led all scorers with 21 points and was one rebound short of a double-double in Illinois' second-round exit. The Kingston, Jamaica, native is only a sophomore, so he could return to Illinois to bounce back from the upset next season.

Cockburn's Instagram post came days after Ohio State star E.J. Liddell shared screenshots of threatening messages to his account after Ohio State fell to Oral Roberts in the first round (warning: contains slurs and profanity):

E.J. Liddell @EasyE2432

Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? I’m human. https://t.co/djXzhSH0q8

E.J. Liddell @EasyE2432

This is not me 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.

ESPN's Myron Medcalf reported Ohio State contacted local authorities regarding the matter.