EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – A Michigan punter’s fumble, results in an MSU victory, and leads to death threats over social media.
Monday night, an MSU official explains why he decided to publically speak out in response.
It’s a rivalry game most football fans will never forget, after this weekend’s incredible finish to the Michigan State, Michigan show-down.
But, while MSU took home the Paul Bunyan trophy, a U of M football player got attacked on social media.
The football game still has people talking, while MSU fans continue to celebrate a victory against Michigan, the attention has now turned to the negative feedback that instantly went to the Michigan punter who fumbled the ball.
And from a Spartan to a Wolverine, one MSU alum hopes to teach people a lesson.
“The feedback came almost instantaneously and I was shocked at some of the things that I saw,” Scott Westerman said.
Westerman is the Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations/Executive Director for Michigan State University.
Football fans saw the unexpected Saturday night during the Michigan, Michigan State football game.
The score, 23-21, Michigan, and with just 10 seconds left Michigan punter, Blake O’Neill fumbled the ball, leading to an MSU touchdown and victory.
Moments after, angry Michigan fans turned to social media and attacked O’Neill via twitter, even sending death threats.
While most have since been removed, some of the tweets are still shown on Collegespun.com
“I have a son who was a student athlete and I can’t imagine him having to endure that.. Especially when it wasn’t his fault,” Westerman said. “And the longer that I read that stuff.. The angrier I got, so I decided to do something about it.”
In his weekly blog, Westerman wrote a letter to Blake O’Neill, reassuring the football player that from a Spartan to a Wolverine, he has his back.
In the letter, Westerman said “It’s not all your fault…..it’s not your fault that it was effectively 10 of us against eight of you…..this does not change the fact that are you a gifted athlete….I would be proud to have you on our team.”
“Almost instantaneously people started tweeting back to me saying that was a wonderful thing to do and that it totally resonated with how they were feeling,” Westerman said.
That letter now has more than 32,000 views. To take a look at it for yourself, click here.