West Ham United’s Danny Gabbidon could be facing a fine after launching a four-letter attack on the club’s fans following abusive messages HE recieved on the social network.
After he recieved a series of verbal attacks following his poor performance in their game on Satuday, Gabbidon posted this to his Twitter profile..
U know what f*** the lot of of you u will never get another tweet from me again u just don’t get it do you. Bye bye.”
He is likely to get into trouble for the comment. Let’s face it, It’s not the done thing for a Premier League player to be swearing on a social network often frequented by kids.
But, let us ask the bigger question here. Is Danny Gabbidon REALLY TO BLAME for acting this way? I haven’t seen all of the comments sent to him, but I would suggest they are extremely aggresive in nature to warrant a response which included the F-Word.
Which then leads me to the question What is West Ham United doing about this? Would they do nothing if this abuse was hurled at him while he was on the pitch? The answer is quite clearly ‘no’, who why isn’t there any process in place to supoprt players when they get this sort of verbal abuse through social networks.
Let me be clear, I don’t blame West Ham United solely for this. This just shows a common lack of understanding football clubs have about the immediacy and power of Twitter. But clubs need to get a grasp of this asap to protect their players.
Because the irony is that the only person who will probably come out of this worse off will be the very person who is being verbally abused – in this case, Danny Gabbidon.
I’m a Digital Media specialist. So here is some free advice to West Ham, the PFA and other clubs about how I would handle this situation if I were in their shoes.
Club – Either have your club social media team/press officer on Standby 24 hours after every match to deal with direct criticism (because if anyone is going to be nasty to a player on Twitter, it will happen within 24 hours) or train your players in the do’s and don’ts of Social Media – it should be part of the overall education and support they recieve from you
PFA – If the clubs are not going to offer this support and education about social media – then why aren’t you?
Player – When you get to the point where you feel you are going to fire off a four-letter tweet, put your phone down and paint the fence. Then come back to your phone, make a note of all the extremely offensive Tweets and the usernames and either re-tweet them or report them to Twitter (or police if it is racist, threatening etc)