Penn State football starting quarterback Sean Clifford stated in on a conference call with local reporters that he had been receiving so many death threats following his team’s 31-26 defeat to Minnesota in week 11 that he deleted all of his social media accounts.
He said he deletes his social media apps “throughout the week” and “closer to the game[s]” before revealing that he “completely deleted it” after the Minnesota game.
“It’s kind of sad to see how some fans get. They get a little crazy,” Clifford said. “I was sick and tired of getting death threats and some pretty explicit and tough-to-read messages. You learn how to deal with certain things and how certain people will react. It’s a very passionate game with some very passionate people. I just try to stay away from [the negativity]. I appreciate all the positive people that are around, but there are also people who will try to tear you down.”
While he did not go into specifics, he did say that “there are certain things I wish fans wouldn’t say.”
“I’m not saying social media is a bad thing,” he added. “I really have enjoyed experiencing social media, being able to interact with fans, and sharing content that other people want to see. It’s a bummer when people take it different. People go over the top where I would never to experience some of the things that people say.
“At the same time, I understand the position I’m in. There’s a lot of passion in this sport. I try not to look at everything anyway. Closer to games, I just try to log off.”
Head coach James Franklin also spoke on his QB receiving death threats:
Clifford completed 23 of his 43 passes in the game for 340 yards, a touchdown, but also tossed three interceptions.
Penn State still has a 9-1 record and currently occupies a spot in the top 10 of the AP Top 25 poll, Coaches’ Poll, and the College Football Playoff committee’s top 25 rankings.
Their next game will be a huge one as they head to Columbus to take on No. 2 Ohio State.