By Jay Jay
A recent survey has revealed what we have been starting to realise about the relationship between social media and sports- it isn't a cosy one.
A survey of over 1,000 fans revealed that 22% of football fans using social media have posted abusive or negative comments about footballers, while another 55% admitted to have witnessed such occurrences on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Of those who admitted to the former, younger fans in the age group 16-25 were three and half times (35%) more prone to posting abusive or negative comments as against 10% of those aged 45 or older.
The survey went on to highlight the consequences of such interactions on online platforms. Nearly a half (51%) of the respondents believed that criticisms and abuses hurled at players had a negative impact on the players’ performances.
A similar percentage were of the opinion that the increased interaction between players and fans owing to popular online social networks did not improve their mutual relationships. Football players came in for some stick as well from the findings- almost half (46%) believed that most footballers used social networking to boast about their wealth and lifestyles.
A greater proportion of respondents owed the annoyance of football fans to what the players were doing on the pitch. These included feigning injury (83%), diving (81%), not giving 100% (61%), time wasting (56%) and abusing match officials (53%).
Given the huge popularity of the sport in the UK and its intensely competitive nature, fans are more prone to frustrations and anger over the failures of the clubs and players they support.
50% of the respondents in the Survey accept the fact that players of the rugby union have comparatively better relationship with their fans; another 44% feel the same for cricket.