Ohio State football deleted its “silence” tweet in anticipation of Saturday’s game against Penn State after accusations this week that the social media post was insensitive about coach Urban Meyer’s suspension for failing to report domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant.
The original social media post featured an image of a football player standing in front of a white background, finger poised to his lips, with the word “silence” boldly emblazoned across the top, Cleveland’s Plain Dealer reported.
The image and caption, which read “silence the white noise,” was meant to reference Saturday’s white-out game against Penn State that will see opposition fans wearing all white in support of their team.
However, critics felt the post was inappropriate in light of Meyer’s three-game suspension last month.
At the time, an investigation was launched by the school’s board of trustees to look into his handling of allegations of domestic abuse against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, USA Today reported.
The controversial tweet was removed Thursday afternoon along with a subsequent post that said the school understood “why people were critical,” according to ESPN.
A second explanation was later posted to Twitter by the Ohio State athletic department.
“As we have done in the past and in preparation for Saturday's game, we issued a message to our fans via the football social media outlets,” it read. “The message has been interpreted in ways we absolutely did not intend, and we have removed it from our channels.”
Ohio State football spokesman Jerry Emig on Thursday told ESPN that the school had used the same message before the 2016 whiteout game at Penn State.
“That message is directed to our team to play really well to silence an incredible whiteout crowd at Penn State,” he said.
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