The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

"You deserve the cemetery": the scourge of cyberbullying in tennis


Threats on social networks are now part of everyday life for athletes. Victims of vindictiveness by frustrated gamblers, gamblers

"I'm going to cut your throat dirty p ...", "will burn in hell", "I wish you cancer and the Covid to your family", not to mention the dubious references to mothers or girlfriends ... This flowery literature, the more often in English, many tennis players practice it after every match.

With the combined explosion of social networks and online games at will, each victory or defeat brings its torrent of insults from frustrated punters on the accounts of those concerned.

The phenomenon is not new.

But it continues to gain momentum.

The Covid-19 crisis has increased all virtual exchanges and the excesses that go with it.

Even if the ex-footballer Thierry Henry has just left all his followers to denounce the inaction of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram in the face of the "considerable volume of racism, intimidation and mental torture" or if the coach of the England plan to ask their players for a black screen during the next Euro, individual sports, in particular tennis, are the most affected.

🚨 What is next step ???

Seriously ... Time to ACT !!

@ITFprocircuit @WTA @atptour @FFTennis #betting

- Marine Partaud (@MarinePartaud) March 25, 2021

“The first time, as we didn't talk about it at the time, I had the impression that it only happened to me, remembers Pauline Parmentier, 35, who put away her snowshoes a few years ago. month.

You just played, you get death threats against you and your family, it's creepy.

At one point, I realized that I was not the only one.

Something crazy.

It's paradoxical and murky, but to say that others also receive it, that reassures a little… ”

Racism mixes with insults

The ball can however quickly come to touch the line of the depression.

The 30-year-old Canadian Rebecca Marino took a break of more than five years (2013-2018) before setting foot - and especially her head - on the court.

Caught up in a process of self-destruction.

“I was too sensitive to everything people said and wrote about me.

Instead of avoiding comments, I was continually looking for them on social networks and the Internet, she explained on the sidelines of the last Australian Open, her first Grand Slam final draw since 2013. I'm very curious so I want to know everything they say about me.

I should not have.


Rebecca Marino competed in the 2021 Australian Open, her first Grand Slam since 2013, when she decided to quit tennis after being cyberstalked.


The hatred of gambling addicts is also often tinged with racist remarks.

After a setback in Rome, at the end of the summer of 2020, Gaël Monfils had published a small anthology based on “silly black monkey”, “black bastard” or “slave”.

Jamaican-born German Dustin Brown has long been a subscriber to these unmistakable words.

Like the American Madison Keys, who became an ambassador for the FearlessyGIRL program to educate high school girls in the United States on the dangers of digital bullying.

đź”´ @Gael_Monfils revealed the racist comments he suffered following his loss at # Masters1000roma.

#Racism has no place in sport.

Support for our talented player, one week before the opening of #RolandGarros

- SOS Racisme (@SOS_Racisme) September 21, 2020

Frankly, that makes me hysterical, continues Pauline Parmentier.

The guys feel their wings growing on their sofa, quiet.

They surely never hit a ball.

Some are real psychopaths.

They know they are untouchable and that gives them strength.

It is indeed impossible to close all hate accounts.

Useless and counterproductive to try to answer or reason.

Illusory to take the time to file a complaint in the middle of the tournament.

Except threat taken more seriously like this former French player who had received some photos of cellars with a message explaining where she was going to end up ...

International tennis bodies seem to place more emphasis on the dangers of succumbing to the sirens of match-fixing (and the penalties that go with it) than on psychological support for victims of insults or harassment.

"We always talk about the dream life of tennis players but this is not really the case, slips a regular ITF events.

When you are in a lost hole, that you see while you play strange guys around the installations which are part of networks of paris and that you read while leaving the court that you are a waste of humanity which deserves the cemetery, you grind a bit of darkness in your hotel room.

And we don't really know what the ATP or the WTA are doing

(Editor's note: the male and female bodies have signed a partnership with a British risk assessment and management company)



Morning essentials newsletter

A tour of the news to start the day

Subscribe to the newsletterAll newsletters

For its part, the French Tennis Federation created in 2019 a function of sports integrity delegate to develop all federal actions and cover cyberstalking, the fight against corruption, sexual violence or doping.

An entity born under the previous term of office and which will be maintained by the new team elected on February 13.

"It works very well, there is no reason to question it and we have to anchor all that," says Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the general manager of the FFT.

Continue the work of educating and raising awareness among players, of distributing our prevention materials to better understand this thing which is becoming a reality of the modern world and of modern sport.


"We have a whole arsenal of measures"

The delegate Ophélie Soudre and the project manager Anaïs Walter work together with Net Écoute, the national number (0800 200 000) operated by the e-childhood association to protect minors in their digital uses.

The platform is made up of lawyers, psychologists and community managers to support victims.

“During a report, they will qualify the offense, work on the collection of evidence

(screenshots, etc.)

and their relationship with the major players

(Editor's note: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…)

allows them to intervene to remove the offending account or the content that caused a problem within a maximum of 48 hours in general, details Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, herself a former member of the Facebook policy board.

Social networks know their vulnerability.

They are fully aware of the risks with anonymity and want to regulate them to protect citizens from excesses.

It's much easier today to have content erased and Net Écoute does it very well.


Support, support, relay, the @eenfance team explains everything about the care of victims of cyberstalking!

Listening Net number to remember and to distribute widely in your establishments: 0 800 200 000

- InternetS Without Fear (@BetterInternetF) December 14, 2018

Young Tricolors are made aware very early on with information documents, posters distributed on FFT tournaments or booklets such as the one given to each resident of the National Training Center (CNE).

“You tell yourself that for teenagers who are a little shy, a little withdrawn, it's scary, loose Pauline Parmentier.

They have to be protected from a lot of things.

»Help them understand that they are not alone with their phones or computers.

(R) assure them of the existence of a protection mechanism even if they do not call upon it.

The escalation of cases is not legion

"We often tell ourselves that things will calm down, that it is the common lot of people who expose themselves," continues Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.

But when it gets more serious, they have to know that we have a whole arsenal of measures that are going to crescendo.

The thorniest cases can lead to legal or judicial actions.

Nothing is taboo even if it remains of the last resort.

We are above all in a logic of support, to avoid too much trouble on morale, mind, the ability to focus on the essential ... "

If malicious reflections continue to rain - especially since the circuit is full of surprises in these uncertain times of pandemic -, the escalations of cases are not legion.

The FFT recently had to deal with the hassle of a player ranked in the world 500 who has suffered a litany of messages for several years.

“At the time of Rebecca Marino, the tennis authorities had communicated on it, sighs Parmentier.

But you say to yourself m… it was still eight years ago!


Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2021-04-08

You may like

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.