Athlete Abuse on Social Media

As social networks allow more and more people to connect with their favorite celebrities, angry fans are becoming increasingly obnoxious and abusive in their posts. This can be said for sports, movies, television, politics, etc. but I believe is most prevalent in the sports world.

Something can be said about Fantasy Football managers tweeting at a player for blowing their shot at making the Fantasy Playoffs. Umpires in baseball have certainly received poor feedback on social media from blown calls. But when it comes to passionate fans, and in turn anger, I believe soccer takes the cake.

Not only are death threats and riot break-outs a common occurrence, but racism is still a predominant issue, take the Italian Serie A league for example. Here’s a video of Italian superstar Mario Balotelli being subbed off the pitch after racist chants break out, and crying on the bench. He’s been quoted saying, “Racism makes me feel alone.” It really is sad, and actions need to be taken.

In social media, it’s both advantageous and appealing that the average Joe can interact with any celebrity of their choosing. On top of this, everyone wants to read celebrities’ unfiltered thoughts. However, does this create too open of a platform for discrimination and abuse?

It’s certainly an interesting and developing issue. Maybe somewhere down the road the social platforms will initiate programs to moderate interactions. Here’s an example from Tom Daley’s twitter (Tom is an English Olympic diver). It may not be the best example of athlete abuse, but I certainly wouldn’t want to hear something like this.

Any ideas or input as to how this issue may progress? I believe it will eventually need to be dealt with, I’m just unsure as to how.


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