‘KEYBOARD WARRIORS’ should think before they attack GAA players online.
That is the view GPA Head of Communications Sean Potts articulated after Cork players came in for heavy criticism after their dire showing against Kerry last weekend.
“The whole concept behind what we’re doing is respect and respecting people as individuals,” Potts told the Irish Examiner.
“It was a bad day at the office for Cork but these people are amateur sportspeople. They deserve to be respected.
“The media tend to be very tempered and responsible in their commentary around this but even the analysis on radio was over-the-top. A bad day is a bad day. We direct and encourage people to look at our recent campaign and what the context behind it is and realise these people are more than just footballers and hurlers.
“They’re people in their own communities. It’s hard enough following a bad defeat to face the light again but particularly so when your own people are making comments. It’s beneath contempt.
“As Conor [Cusack] said, the real warriors are out on the field and everybody has a bad day. You win and lose games and you picked yourself up and that’s what these athletes do. They go back at it again and try and make up for it.
“Anyone in the public eye in any way, even people in the media, are subjected to that sort of aggression and comment online. It’s not nice and it can affect people in different ways. Most people can cope well with it but some can’t and the consequences for them can be very dramatic.
“People are under pressure and they are amateurs. We have to keep reminding and reiterating that despite the level of commitment being on a par with professional sport they’re amateurs and back in their community or work the next day. That’s not easy and it’s compounded by the keyboard warriors as Conor calls them.”
Mental health activist and former Cork hurler Conor Cusack tweeted after the game: “It would be wise of the keyboard warriors to remember that our real warriors, our players in the arena, wear more than their county jerseys.”