Players' Hell: Why Is Bullying Player "Normal"?

In Part 1 of this chapter, I talked about why fans bully players. In Part 2 I talked about the result of such bullying and depression. Today, I will talk about how those actions are wrong from the root.

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Football players suffer the same problems we all have outside of money. Bad relationships, death, lack of adjustment, emotional pain, and many more problems that money can't fix. It seems that everyone is willing to overlook all of that just to insult players on the pitch, T.V, and on social media.

The funny part is that much of this is the result of a mix of unjustified expectations and crowds' hypocrisy, but that part will be covered in the next and final part of this chapter. In this part, I will talk about the justifications people use for that behavior.

"Do You Expect A Perfect World?"

Never mind the fact that there's nothing wrong with asking people to behave optimally, I am not naive to expect everyone to do that. But can't we just admit that it is wrong to bully players on the pitch as they try to do their job or even on social media as they write anything relating to their life?

"Welcome To The Real World"

This sentence can be both an invitation to be realistic, but it can also be used as a justification to make the real world even worse. Is the fact that something is a part of "The real world" a justification not to change it? Why is it that we have to just accept that?

Now, there are no limits for fans. They could mock the appearances, color, sexual orientation, and other non-football-related aspects. It has become a sign of loving your club to mock and demean players of opposite teams or even their own team player.

I am aware that there are degrees and a spectrum between joking about a player and attempting to smash their car as they leave the stadium. But the extreme cases are happening more and more lately. At first, it started with faceless people on Twitter and social media. Then those people started targeting the players' social media. And now, it's on T.V with ex-players mocking players every day.

Bad things happen everywhere indeed, but to take that as an excuse to do similar things is simply evil. Should we just keep doing horrible things until they become a normal part of "The real world"?

"It's Part Of The Job"

Who said that? Who put that rule? The crowds? The media? Is that a law? Does having an opinion include allowing me to mentally abuse anyone into a depression like the 22% of PFA players? Is insulting, demeaning, and mocking players and often their family members even considered an opinion?

Can't players just do the same and hand their accounts to people who could pick the abusers and make an example out of them on social media? Or even reporting them to the police?

Should players just endure this abuse and torment because football is "The people's game" therefore they should just shut the hell up?

"Oh it's the people's game, therefore, it's okay to insult you all over social media, television, or even when you're going out with your family"

These Groups Of People Are Simply Bad

It comes down to two things upon which these abusers depend.

  • They feel they are plenty, therefore, they have fake bravery that wouldn't exist in those people individually.

  • They do that because the players won't look at them, notice, or even hear about them.

In Conclusion

The immunity of these abuses exists only on one side; the abusers. When Xhaka was abused by Arsenal supporters for months, he had his captain armband removed, and was forced into anger management when he reacted. Apparently, it's okay to have thousands insulting you while doing your job, but if you react, you have anger issues.

So, these players should just shut up, play, and never react as they get abused by thousands on the pitch and hundreds of thousands online because they're making money, right?

After all, that's "reality", "the world isn't perfect", and that's what's "normal" for people who committed the unspeakable sin of pursuing their dream of playing football.

The End

In the next and final part, I will be talking about the hypocrisy of football fans. Stay tuned.



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13 comments
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Growing up in the 70s and 80s bullying was a normal part of life some of us had bullies we needed to deal with on a daily basis, and some of us studied martial arts and used self-defense to keep the bullies away.
Living in a more peaceful society would be great, if only...

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The issue with the players' case is the fact that they can't fight back. It's a very complex issue. Thank you for sharing your story here.

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I was just talking about Gareth Bale in my most recent post and how incredulous I am about what is happening with Real Madrid and its legends. Great post, great job

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It's sad that we take the humanity away from these players. Fans easily forget that these players are themselves humans first before being players and they also have lives outside football.

Ex-players also taking soft digs at players isn't cool. Gerrard asking Saka to toughen up off because he's frequently fouled is another angle just because he (Gerrard) is still suffering the injuries he sustained as a player. These Ex-players also forget that they were once like them.

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Exactly, players continuously get dehumanized on weekly, often daily bases. Imagine being Maguire and going online and finding a video with millions of viewers mocking you.

And I hate those ex-players pundits. I remember Roy Keane mocking De Gea during his bad form period and when De Gea got his form he simply dismissed him with that "That's his job" line. It's just infuriating.

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Roy Keane has a special place with players when it comes to getting at them.

You can be blunt without being derisive.

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Bulling is a part of growing up but in today's world, it has gotten totally out of control.

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Hey, Amir.
That is a good point and an interesting one also,I think, in todays standard bullying a player has become normal and more of multi -directional as we see, inclusion of social media ill users and those black figures pulling out names and ending up canning the players abusively, quite a time ago, these things were limited to on the pitch,but now bullying spread everywhere.

So tough for players willing to give 100% to the job,but still players are human and personal attack towards their family,thats not good..
Anybody would be angry with such things..

Good write.

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Great point. The issue is those players also get punished for responding to this abuse.

Thank you for your nice comment.

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