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On Salomon Kalou And Twitter Abuse

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It's a Friday morning, so it'd normally difficult for me to feel anything approaching sadness. However! Most Fridays don't include seeing this pop up in Twitter:

3 out 5 replies of my tweets are unkind n are borderline vicious but they make me LOL#bhappystayhappy
Oct 07 via Twitter for iPadFavoriteRetweetReply


Shame! Shame on all of you. I get that Salomon Kalou is a) probably not a world-class footballer in the first place and b) out of form, but there's a difference between complaining about Kalou's football as it's happening vs. abusing him to his (virtual) face. Fans complain. I get it. I sure complained after Valencia. We make snarky remarks and do some ribbing. Fine - I think that's all in good fun. But this is something else entirely. As soon as mean comments meant to elicit a laugh start to be directed towards the brunt of the joke, it simply becomes very public bullying.

Outside of football, Kalou sure seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. I met him this summer at Stamford Bridge, actually, when he did some hosting of a blogger event after the Chelsea-Newcastle game. He handled us grownups graciously, chatted off the record, but what really impressed me was when a little girl saw the goings on in the box and tried to get a closer look at a real life Chelsea player Kalou invited her in, introduced himself to her, and took photos with her. I assume he was paid/told to be friendly to me (and he was!) but nothing said he had to be a sweetheart to a random child gatecrasher.

When you abuse Kalou on Twitter, you're not abusing Kalou, the inconsistent, infuriating footballer. You're bullying a decent human being who has done nothing but sometimes play poorly for the club you support*. That's vile behaviour, and it has to stop. Be better than this.

*Don't get me started on the media's interpretations of his quotes at the end of last season.