Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford made the decision to delete social media off his phone following the Nittany Lions’ loss to Minnesota two weeks ago.
Today, Clifford explained his reasoning for doing so to reporters. The quarterback says he was receiving death threats.
Clifford was 23-of-43 passing for 340 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions against the Gophers. The final INT came in the end zone with one minute remaining in the game.
Sean Clifford said he deleted social media off his phone following the Minnesota game, in part because he said he was getting death threats.
"There's certain things I wish fans wouldn't say," Clifford said.
— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) November 19, 2019
To be fair, there are plenty of Penn State fans responding to tweets about Clifford’s admission with nothing but support for the player and condemnation for anyone sending him threats.
However, there have been a couple of instances this season where some PSU fans have drawn negative attention to themselves. Earlier this fall, one fan sent safety Jonathan Sutherland a nasty, racially-tinged letter complaining about the team captain’s tattoos and dreadlocks.
Head coach James Franklin even admitted last week he had “heard from” some disappointed fans after the loss to Minnesota.
Overall though, this isn’t a Penn State issue so much as its a society issue in 2019. With the advent of social media–and its ability to provide someone anonymity, or at least to be able to fire shots from a safe distance–we’ve seen countless instances of people going too far.