Star athletes ‘Stand Up’ and speak about their experiences with online bullying.
It’s a surprise to no one that there has been a drastic increase of online bullying. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have all made a positive impact on the sports experience. Whether it’s watching a game, engaging with strangers or friends, or finding a community of like-minded individuals, social media has greatly enhanced how we consume sports.
Social media, however, has also given a voice to bullies. It’s evident because First Lady Melania Trump has stated she will focus on fighting online bullying. Strangers, trolls or instigators will insult athletes if they miss a shot or perform poorly. This escalates to bullying, death threats and obscenities being passed around the internet. As a result, a group of athletes are speaking out against bullying in a new video produced by The Players’ Tribune. Derek Jeter, along with Von Miller, Michael Phelps, Danica Patrick and Karl-Anthony Towns discuss the abuse they’ve encountered online. Fans typically idolize athletes and put them on a pedestal. This video is a powerful message because it humanizes these athletes and shows that they’re similar to us. No one deserves this treatment regardless of circumstances, as reading comments and posts can lead down a dark path. The ‘Stand Up’ campaign encourages those who need help to stand up and get it. Furthermore, it calls on everyone to be accountable and stand up for others. Athletes, fans and any person can be a victim of online bullying, so society needs to band together to be there for each other.