Ronaldo, Maguire, Kane: Premier League's most abused players on Twitter have been revealed | OneFootball

Ronaldo, Maguire, Kane: Premier League's most abused players on Twitter have been revealed

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Cristiano Ronaldo is the Premier League’s most abused player on Twitter, a new study has revealed.

Social media abuse towards footballers is a problem that continues to rear its ugly head and unfortunately appears to become more prevalent season upon season.

Players are scrutinised at all times of the day from just about every angle with social media now having more access than ever to football. But while criticism is fair, too often it goes too far and becomes abusive, in many different forms.

It’s not just in football that online abuse is an issue. In sports in general and life, social media continues to enable the seemingly limitless streams of abuse that can be targeted towards just about anyone who attracts attention, particularly in the media.

But the issue won’t go away in football. With the game now so accessible and visible, and social media so easy to set up anonymously on, it’s becoming painfully common to see floods of abuse after mistakes, bad performances, or in plenty of cases, not even that.

Truthfully, we can now predict when a player is going to be targeted by trolls online when watching in real time and witnessing a mistake or a perhaps below par performance. It’s an unacceptably ugly reality and an issue that seriously needs addressing, in order to protect the mental health and welfare of victims and those regularly exposed to such abuse.

The BBC report that a study has been carried out by Ofcom and the Alan Turing Institute has analysed the abuse directed towards Premier League players, surveying 2.3 million tweets from the first half of last season.

They found that seven in 10 Premier League players were being subjected to abuse, with 60,000 of those tweets analysed being targeted towards the same 12 individuals.

Astonishingly, eight of those 12 individuals are Manchester United players, of which Ronaldo comes top of the list.

From 13 August 2021 to 24 January 2022, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner received 12,520 tweets deemed abusive, with teammate Harry Maguire following in second having received 8,954 in the same time period.

The full graphic from the BBC can be found below. Be sure to take a look as the results are striking.

The mammoth number of abusive tweets towards Ronaldo and Maguire decrease considerably when moving down the list, but still sit at an alarming rate.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane sits as the fifth most abused Premier League player from last season, while Manchester City’s Jack Grealish also makes the list.

Jesse Lingard has since moved to Nottingham Forest, but was a United player in the time the data was analysed and failed to make his mark on the side after returning from a positive loan spell at West Ham in 2020/21.

The report notes that certain peaks of abusive behaviour were found in the data. One of which came following Ronaldo’s announcement that he had returned to United, while the other came on 7 November, when Maguire issued an apology tweet following United’s 2-0 defeat to City.

It goes without saying that this sort of behaviour is atrocious and the study shows that significant intervention is needed in order to combat an issue which only continues to prove incredibly dangerous.

The 2022/23 Premier League season kicks off this week, and with pressure higher than ever on clubs to deliver from fans watching around the world, criticism and scrutiny is inevitable, as is the unfortunate reality of abuse.

Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s group director for broadcasting and online content, was quoted by the BBC as saying: “When we become the regulator for online safety, tech companies will have to be really open about the steps they’re taking to protect users. We will expect them to design their services with safety in mind.

“Supporters can also play a positive role in protecting the game they love. Our research shows the vast majority of online fans behave responsibly and, as the new season kicks off, we’re asking them to report unacceptable, abusive posts whenever they see them.”

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo
  2. Football
  3. Football Terrace Embed
  4. Harry Kane
  5. Harry Maguire
  6. Jack Grealish
  7. Manchester City
  8. Manchester United
  9. Marcus Rashford
  10. Premier League
  11. Tottenham Hotspur

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