Over the weekend, American tennis star Shelby Rogers said that she was going to receive “nine million death threats” on social media after losing to Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu in straight sets. Rogers even admitted that she wished that “social media didn’t exist.”
“Obviously we appreciate the spotlight in those moments, but then you have today and I’m going to have nine million death threats and whatnot,” Rogers told reporters following her loss. “It’s very much polarizing, one extreme to the other very quickly.”
During Tuesday’s installment of “Nothing Personal with David Samson,” David Samson weighed in on what online abuse can do to people, including athletes, and why it has to stop.
“We can’t sit back and laugh or read or do not emphasize with people that are bullied,” Samson said. “When your sports hero loses a game, it is well within your right to boo or send a message saying ‘you sucked today.’ It is not alright to bully on social media thinking that they’re celebrities. I’ve never met a rich person who doesn’t get impacted by these statements.
“I’ve never met an athlete who actually ignores and dismisses the boos. They hear it. We view them as more than human. My message to Shelby Rogers and Sloane Stephens is I hear you and I’m sorry for you. I won’t stand by and watch this happen. When I see something like this happen, I will do something by blocking or reporting these bullies.”