Ohio State's "silence" graphic criticized as tone deaf.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
September 27, 2018

Ohio State is getting quite a bit of backlash after tweeting out a graphic with the word 'Silence' at its center ahead of Saturday's matchup against Penn State.

The No. 4 Buckeyes are getting ready to face the Nittany Lions on the road, where a No. 9 Penn State crowd of more than 100,000 will be demonstrating its "whiteout" tradition by doning all white attire. The graphic was sent out as a campaign to silence the Nittany Lions's "white noise."

The tweet read, "Silence the white noise. #GoBucks #WinTheMoment" and featured a photo of a Buckeyes player in a white jersey with his finger raised toward his mouth as if he were asking someone to be quiet.

Ohio State Football Twitter

Normally, a tweet of such nature wouldn't capture much attention. For the Buckeyes, however, the word "silence" has a different connotation.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was suspended three games for failing to act on allegations of domestic violence against former assistant coach Zach Smith by his ex-wife Courtney. Meyer has strongly denied any cover up of Smith's alleged abuse despite reports that he was aware of the allegations in 2015. An investigative report revealed Meyer may have deleted old text messages related to the issue.

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In the midst of such a scandal and a culture where most instances of domestic and sexual violence are kept from being reported, the Buckeyes's use of the word "silence" was classified as "tone deaf" by many.

As a result of all the pushback, Ohio State decided to delete the post on all the social media platforms it was shared on and issued a statement saying, "The message has been interpreted in a way we absolutely did not intend."

Kickoff time between Ohio State and Penn State is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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