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Assaulted with Twitter trash, Sooners do their best to sweep it up, rise above

Whether they were trying to get Oklahoma stirred up during Florida State week or just trying amuse themselves, someone used the anonymity of the internet to conduct a vile assault on the Sooners. How they rose above it is a story worth noting.
by Jenni Carlson Published: September 14, 2011

/articleid/3604122/1/pictures/1511066">Photo - Oklahoma safety/linebacker Tony Jefferson and some teammates fended off some verbal assaults via Twitter this week. Staff photo by The Oklahoman.
Oklahoma safety/linebacker Tony Jefferson and some teammates fended off some verbal assaults via Twitter this week. Staff photo by The Oklahoman.

It's a lot harder to do.

But Jefferson didn't retaliate in kind. No ugly posts. No hateful responses.

He wasn't the only Sooner to react that way.

There were several other players on Twitter at that time, including Brennan Clay. Those two buddies are extremely outgoing and very engaging with their teammates. If they knew what was being said, it's safe to assume many other Sooners did, too.

But the vitriol was nearly nil.

Sooner quarterback Drew Allen apparently lashed out at the disparaging comments about Austin Box. He later deleted the tweet but issued an apology.

“Just want to apologize for my little outburst,” he wrote on Twitter. “Moment of shock and anger. Austin would've handled it differently!”

When Whitney Box told Allen that her brother would've laughed at the comments, Allen tweeted, “you're right Whit but I didn't laugh.”

“I didn't either,” she replied, “but I know he'd laugh at me for caring about that.”

All of this is heart wrenching. Talk to the players, and you know that Box's death remains a fresh wound. Read about the Box family, and you understand that their pain is still severe.

Imagine then when an account called AustinBoxZombie surfaced Tuesday afternoon. Again, I'll spare you the details, but the stuff that posted was in as bad a taste as the account's name might suggest.

Broyles responded directly to it. The Sooner receiver wrote that the account was playing with fire and that the whole thing was “shameful.”

Most Sooner fans weren't so nice. They lashed out at the tweeting trolls, using profanity and calling names. It would've been easy for the Sooners to do the same. It's one thing to ignore ugly things coming out of the stands on a Saturday afternoon. But doing the same when the words sit there on a computer screen screaming at you? That's a new one for athletes.

But the Sooners kept their cool.

Nowadays, that isn't the norm. But when these guys had every opportunity to answer garbage with garbage, they refused to sink to the trashy level of those tweeters. They were classy. They were respectable.

They were surprising — in a good way.

Letter The Oklahoma Daily received from FSU student leaders
by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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