- Ohio State University released a promotion for its game against Penn State on Saturday with a player putting his finger to his lips with the caption, “Silence.”
- The promotion is meant to be a play on Penn State’s “white out” tradition for the game.
- Many called the promotion “tone deaf” following Urban Meyer’s suspension for mishandling allegations of domestic violence against former assistant coach Zach Smith.
- The promotion also comes after four former Ohio State wrestlers sued the university for failing to respond to complaints of sexual abuse and harassment by a former team doctor.
Ohio State University came under fire on Thursday for a promotion for its matchup with Penn State on Saturday.
Penn State fans traditionally wear all white, making the game a “whiteout.” Ohio State responded with a promotion of a player putting his finger to his lips, with the word “Silence” on the poster.
The promotion comes on the heels of Urban Meyer’s three-game suspension for mishandling allegations domestic violence against former assistant coach Zach Smith.
Ohio State’s investigation into the matter found that Meyer “falsely slated he lacked knowledge of all relevant events regarding alleged domestic violence in 2015.” Investigators also found that Meyer didn’t follow proper protocol once learning of the allegations. Meyer has denied various findings of the investigation, including that he asked how to delete texts over one year old.
Additionally, in July, four former Ohio State wrestlers sued the university for failing to respond to complaints of sexual abuse and harassment by a former team doctor Richard Strauss. The lawsuit alleged that Strauss estimates that Strauss “sexually assaulted, abused, battered, molested, and/or harassed 1,500 to 2,500 male students” while at the university.
The promotion was met with criticism from many.
Fixed that for you pic.twitter.com/hhscpLhw9k
— LG (@LGhail) September 27, 2018
Ohio State, wyd? https://t.co/6mJ8HXzERc
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 27, 2018
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 27, 2018
SB Nation called the graphic “tone deaf.”
USA Today’s Nancy Armour wrote: “Why the marketing department didn’t just use a middle finger in the ad, I don’t know. Because that’s what Ohio State is essentially saying.”
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