Penn State QB Sean Clifford says he got death threats on social media after loss to Minnesota

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford said Tuesday he received death threats on social media after the Nittany Lions’ Nov. 9 loss at Minnesota.

Clifford, a redshirt sophomore who has started all 10 games this season, made the revelation on a conference call as he discussed why he deleted social media this week before the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions’ game Saturday at No. 2 Ohio State.


“I completely deleted it after the Minnesota game,” he said. “It’s kind of sad to say how some fans get. It gets a little crazy. I was kind of sick and tired of getting death threats and some pretty explicit and pretty tough-to-read messages.

“But you learn how to deal with certain things and how certain people are going to react because it’s a very passionate game with a lot of passionate people. Our fans are definitely some of, if not the most, passionate fans in the country. So I just try to stay away from it.

“I appreciate all the positive people that are around, but there’s also people that try to tear you down. So I think it’s always been better to keep your head away from that kind of stuff.”

Clifford completed 23 of 43 passes for 340 yards and one touchdown in the Nittany Lions’ 31-26 loss at Minnesota. He threw three interceptions, the last coming in the Golden Gophers end zone and ending Penn State’s final threat.

He did not want to go into details about the threats or to whom he reached out.

“There are certain things that I wish the fans wouldn’t say,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not the only one who hears from people. But, yeah, I’d probably just rather keep certain things confidential.”

Coach James Franklin said he was “involved” in the discussion of the threats but did not say specifically what was done.

“I don’t know where we are as a society,” he said during his weekly media teleconference. “We’re 9-1, ranked in the top 10, I think. We’ve had a pretty good year based on some people’s standards, but the players have to hear this.

“It’s not just our fan base — it’s all over. Everybody has a voice now. I don’t know if I have an answer for it. It’s a concern for all of us. There are behaviors in our society that are accepted, that I don’t know why they’re accepted.“

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