Social media takeover
These days, social media is everything to some.
Professional footballers have entire teams dedicated to managing their accounts, while apologies for poor performances are often written out and published, as Marcus Rashford did following Manchester United’s 5-0 defeat to Liverpool two weeks ago.
I can’t lie you haven’t heard from me on here because as a United fan I didn’t really know what to say after Sunday. I was embarrassed. I am embarrassed. Our fans are everything and you didn’t deserve that. We’re working hard to try and fix this. We have to redeem ourselves.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 27, 2021
However, there is a much darker side to it too, with anonymised hate, racial abuse and even death threats circulating freely. Of course, they get worse after defeat, and were especially bad following the misses from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in the Euro 2020 final penalty shoot out.
‘Racism will always be in football if we don’t do something.’
Former Man United player @Evra says it was “painful to watch” the abuse three England players received after Euro 2020.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 22, 2021
Odegaard sends out warning
One man not subject to the thrills of twitter is Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard. Speaking to Spanish press, he revealed why he deleted it, saying:
“It really was because I never used it and I didn’t need it. I think there’s a lot of shit in general. I don’t need to be there . I probably didn’t update Twitter for a long time, so I thought there was no point in having it, so I just deleted it.”
The Norway captain continued:
” There is a lot of shit. You have to be a little careful what you expose yourself . For my part, I don’t need to sit there and look at all those comments. There is a lot of anonymous and very strange [comments]. It’s a little scary if not you have your head completely in place, it can influence you a lot, “
Odegaard also offered a stark warning to other young players, saying:
I would say to them that it is necessary to be careful not to pay too much attention to this type of thing . It can be very negative for them.” ” There have been very sick comments all the time . It is difficult to point out exactly one thing, there have been many things all the time,”
With social media abuse still on the rise, will there be measures introduced to curb the effects that it can have on younger players, or will they just have to step away from the platform?