DALLAS — Oregon wide receiver B.J. Kelley knows better than most the power of social media. With 15,000 Twitter followers and 50,000 more on Instagram, he’s the most prominent Oregon Duck on the internet. 

So when the news broke Friday night that teammate Darren Carrington was suspended for the national championship due to a failed drug test, Kelley had a front-row seat for the social media dismantling of his friend. 

“It was really tough for me,” the redshirt junior said. “I tried not to take it personally when people are bashing a very close friend of mine.” 

Kelley understands why it happened and knows that Carrington brought it upon himself, but playing football for the Ducks in 2014 brings upon a new type of scorn many in college football history have never experienced. Within minutes of the news breaking, Carrington was trending on Twitter. Most on social media called him a disappointment, a mess up, a kid who wasted a season. Many cheeky Ducks fans were quick to relate Carrington to former Duck Cliff Harris, who uttered the infamous “We smoked it all” phrase when pulled over by a state patrolman in 2011. Carrington’s own player page on Oregon’s official website has comments calling him an “idiot.” 

Kelley said he’s been in contact with Carrington since the suspension and said the redshirt freshman was in good spirits. He knows he made a mistake, Kelley said, one that will likely follow him for the rest of his Oregon career. But Kelley said a little bit of compassion needs to arise amongst all the internet bashing. 

“We all make mistakes. We’re human beings, you know?” Kelley said. “He’s a kid, still a teenager. He just made a mistake.” 

— Tyson Alger 
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