You’d think by now the powers-that-be would know that once you offer faceless keyboard warriors the chance to anonymously spew their venom on social media, it’s a recipe for disaster.
What more would you expect other than the scandalous racist comments that were directed at the three England players who missed their penalty kicks in the European Championship Final against Italy last weekend?
It’s pretty clear that as soon as any gutless coward knows they can freely abuse others, it’s not too long before they crawl out from below their rock.
It’s sad because social media can be really informative and, if properly used, can be a real fun way of staying in touch with friends and family, but it desperately needs proper rigorous regulating.
These rodents who masquerade as human beings need to be weeded out once and for all. They need to be identified and dealt with accordingly.
At present, the vast majority of these lowlives get away with blatant character assassinations virtually unchallenged, but that has got to stop and the only people who can make that happen are the people who control the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
It should be compulsory for all people who use these platforms to register properly so that when they choose to be vile, they can be easily identified and then, more importantly, be held fully accountable by the controlling authority.
The sooner these faceless people realise that we build — not demolish — bridges in sport and that if they step out of line in the manner some do, they will get dealt with in a court of law, the sooner they will disappear and social media can be left for responsible users.
However, the reality is that it’s not only black English footballers who suffer online abuse. It’s widespread across all sport and indeed society itself, so it inevitably begs the question as to why this problem has been allowed to fester for so long?
This latest batch of social media attacks on Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka are without doubt of a racist nature and if the authorities are genuinely serious about stamping racism out of both sport and society in general, the culprits need to be eradicated from social media permanently.
Sport doesn’t need nor want their contribution, nor does the wider public.
And for goodness sake, please make sure when they are identified they don’t receive the kid-glove treatment.
If we are to send out the proper message, then the punishment must fit the crime.
A week when some English football supporters behaved shamefully with vicious racist attacks on their own players wasn’t helped when a crowd of thugs who didn’t have tickets decided it would be a good idea to gatecrash the security barriers at the Euro 2020 Final, trampling whoever got in their way in the process.
People immediately began to question the lack of security staff who were hopelessly outnumbered and what seemed like the complete absence of police at the stadium flashpoint — but, let’s be honest about it here, even had the police been there, what use would they have been when nowadays their hands are practically tied behind their backs?
Can you even begin to imagine the uproar and claims of police brutality had any of these louts got a well-deserved smack on the head with a baton? The mind boggles and, in truth, so should those of the hooligans.
As far as I’m concerned, this is even more proof, if ever it was needed, that proper law and order, particularly surrounding football hooliganism, is non-existent.
Although the England team lost on the pitch, the thugs won off it and that in my eyes is completely wrong, so I’ll stop at that before I get into trouble.
I received a lovely email last week from Bobby Jackson, who is the secretary of the Lisburn Ages Walking Football Club.
Formed in 2017 to encourage older members of the community to get out and enjoy a bit of light-hearted exercise, banter and general good craic with others of a similar age, most of the members suffer from various health problems and this group helps them all to enjoy the overall experience which the LAWFC has to offer.
In their reasonably short existence, the club have raised over £8,000 for mental health groups in the Lisburn area — what a truly wonderful contribution that is to people in need.
However, Bobby says they need more new members, so if you are in that age category and would like another form of recreation then get in touch on 07990750011. He’ll be delighted to hear from you.