Illinois star Kofi Cockburn latest to receive racist online comment after NCAA tournament loss

Ryan Young
·2 min read

A second Big Ten player has now been on the receiving end of a racist comment on social media after being bounced from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament early.

Kofi Cockburn shared a comment he received on an old Instagram post after he and top-seeded Illinois lost to Loyola Chicago on Sunday.

“Go back home ya bum,” the user wrote on one of his old Instagram photos. “F***ing lost to Loyola. Go sit your monkey ass on the couch.”

Cockburn shared a screenshot of the comment to his Instagram story, and simply wrote: “I blame his parents.”

Loyola Chicago rolled to a dominant 71-58 win over Illinois on Sunday in their second-round matchup to earn a spot in the Sweet 16. Cockburn — who averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season — put up a team-high 21 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell received death threats

Cockburn is just the latest player in the tournament to share racist and horrific online abuse.

Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell shared screenshots of several direct messages he received on Instagram after the Buckeyes were knocked out of the tournament by Oral Roberts. The messages Liddell received included death threats and racial slurs, with one fan writing, “Don’t ever show your face at Ohio State. We hate you. I hope you die, I really do.”

Liddell put up a team-high 23 points and 14 rebounds in that overtime loss.

“Recent social media comments to E.J. Liddell, while not from our representative of Ohio State fans, are vile, dangerous and reflect the worst of humanity,” Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said in a statement. “E.J. is an outstanding young man who had a tremendous sophomore season and he was instrumental in our team’s success.

“We will take the necessary actions to address this immediately.”

Kofi Cockburn of the Illinois Fighting Illini
Kofi Cockburn of the Illinois Fighting Illini received racist comments after their loss to Loyola Chicago in the NCAA tournament. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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