Dodgers: Justin Turner goes off on fans threatening Ohio State star

Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Dodgers are no strangers to championship-level competition, and are well-accustomed to the pitfalls of being under the microscope in the modern age of sports.

There’s no escape, especially online, from unnecessary, reductive and hateful criticism. It’s become Twitter’s way. Are you briefly angry at a sporting event that signifies the passage of time? Go ahead and hop into the replies! Make sure to use a cookie-cutter “Mickey Mouse” response that you copied and pasted from one of the other hilarious tweens.

Occasionally, though, the boundaries of online criticism are so blurred that so-called fans believe it’s perfectly within the realm of competition to spew hate directly at the athletes they’ve just watched struggle in their biggest moment. This special breed of malcontent heads right for the mentions or DMs, opting to make someone’s life more unpleasant instead of doing nothing at all.

All in the name of a busted bracket, a fantasy loss or something else equally impersonal.

Ohio State’s EJ Liddell, a model citizen and star for the Buckeyes in a fantastic season, bore the brunt of the internet’s worst on Friday after his team’s first-round upset loss to 15-seeded Oral Roberts.

Already stung by the dishonor of the defeat, Liddell then found himself in danger after one fan crossed line after line to leave threatening Instagram DMs.

And if you weren’t struck by Liddell’s human response, you’re likely in need of an attitude adjustment, too.

“Comments don’t get to me, but I just wanna know why” should speak volumes, even to those misguided souls who believe this wasn’t that big a deal.

If that’s your viewpoint, you should simply be forced to answer why this should be an expected consequence of high-level competition. Why it’s worth saving.

Dodgers star Justin Turner came to Ohio State F EJ Liddell’s defense.

Justin Turner, who’s fought — and lost — with the Dodgers countless times on the national stage before capturing a title in 2020, has no doubt felt the wrath of his many followers (otherwise known as people who opted in to receiving Turner’s content). Even in triumph, he still ended up subjected to barbs and vitriol following his controversial post-World Series celebration.

Something about what Liddell faced this week — perhaps the normalcy of the whole thing, beginning to end — really set Turner off, and the third baseman launched into a power-packed response to the whole situation.

At the heart of Turner’s statement, the line, “Do you think we as athletes, in those moments, don’t already feel awful for our coaches, teammates, families and fans?” stands out.

As a fan several layers removed from the proceedings on the court or on the field, why take time out of your day to poke holes and prod your supposed heroes, giving them the literal last thing they need?

Coming after adults is one awful shade; Liddell is a kid, who’s not being paid to compete.

Can’t we be more human moving forward?