San Francisco 49ers’ wide receiver Kyle Williams made two mistakes that very likely cost his team a spot in this year’s upcoming Super Bowl. If the public humiliation of his blunders and the disappointed teammates weren’t enough, outraged fans took to social media to express their feelings about his errors.
Williams took a barrage of abuse from these so called fans on Twitter, where posts ranged from mere expressions of disappointment all the way to hateful outrage and threats on the player’s life. Fans suggested he burn in hell and take his own life. The worst of the worst came from Twitter user @javpasquel (who’s account is seemingly no longer active. Imagine that.)
The Tweet quickly went viral, with other users adding their own commentary. Fortunately, much of the commentary was directed back at Pasquel. In typical reputation nightmare fashion, Pasquel swears that his account was hacked, and that he would never say anything like that.
Thank you, Patrick Willis, for having a bit of compassion and standing alongside your teammate. This is what the game is all about.
It has taken me a long time to get my thoughts together for this post. I am saddened and sickened by the way this “fan” is treating someone who is not only a star athlete, but another human being. People make mistakes. This does not give anyone the right to grab a can of liquid courage, throw on the keyboard muscles, and attack someone from the safety of their living room. Social media is closing the gap between celebrities and everyday average Joes. It is also grossly distorting many people’s views on what is appropriate conversation and what is not. Would the owner of this Tweet have said this to Williams’ face? Methinks no. So what makes it okay to publish it online? It is one thing to be disappointed in your team; it is a completely different issue to take to wishing harm on someone and their family. This abuse should not be tolerated.
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