FATP: Show a little respect

For the second week in a row, it’s later than expected, but welcome to the latest edition of FATP! It’s been a busy week wrestling wise. I watched 2 hours of TNA on Sunday night, as well as catching Survivor Series live, before watching Raw live for the first time in months on Monday. I’ve only just got somewhat back to normal now, so I’m sorry this is late again.

Watching all that wrestling this week brought something to my attention, which is gonna be the focus of this FATP. It’s about some of the vicious abuse that some wrestling fans send to wrestlers on Twitter. It’s not really something I’d noticed before, but it really sort of came to the fore on Sunday and Monday this week, especially on Twitter.

Some of the tweets that get sent to wrestlers verge on vitriolic. Just because you’ve got a way to get in touch with these wrestlers doesn’t mean that people should feel the need to send them abuse. It’s fine sending a sarcastic tweet here and there because I’m sure that most wrestlers can take a joke, but some of the stuff that cropped up on my timeline was beyond the joke!

For example, I saw a tweet calling a particular female performer a “fat b***h”. Another one that really shocked me was someone wishing that a particular wrestler would get a serious injury because they beat their favourite wrestler. Not only did they tag the wrestler in that tweet, but they sent it to a WWE employee as well.

There’s a SEVERE lack of respect with those tweets. It’s fine to dislike a performer, but to send the actual person abuse like that is bang out of order. If stuff like that keeps happening, then wrestlers are just going to stop managing their Twitter accounts or get rid of them altogether. It’s almost as if some wrestling fans set up Twitter accounts just to send abuse to wrestlers that they don’t like and it’s as if they get some perverse pleasure from sending abusive tweets to people that they don’t even know.

The tweets I saw were from people who apparently have trouble differentiating between the actual on-screen character and the real person. For example, the John Cena or Bobby Roode that we see on-air is different to the actual person. For someone to say that they hate John Cena or Bobby Roode is ridiculous. We don’t know them. We know their wrestling character, but not the real person. The only people that know who the real John Cena or Bobby Roode are their real-life friends, i.e. not the majority of people who follow them on Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to interact with people that you don’t know or have never met, but maybe you’ve connected with them through wrestling sites or other friends. It shouldn’t be used as a way to send abuse to wrestlers because you dislike the role they’re playing on TV. These same people don’t send abuse to actors on TV shows, so why do they do it to wrestlers?

Every on-air performer goes out there with the sole purpose of entertaining us, to draw a reaction from us, and while I might not like some of the characters, I respect every single person involved with wrestling who goes out there to entertain me. It’s something that I know I’d never be able to do. That’s why I don’t use social media as a vehicle to send them abuse. It’s about having respect for someone. It also gives wrestling fans a bad name. I should probably make it clear that overall, it’s a small minority of people who do it, but they give the rest of us a bad name.

Far too many wrestling fans have what I like to call “Twitter balls”. If these same people were put face-to-face with the person they’ve just called a fat b***h or wished a serious injury on, 99% of them would probably say nothing and ask for either a picture or autograph. That’s one of the bad things about Twitter: it gives the minority of wrestling fans (the majority of the minority are just morons) the chance to do something that they’d never have the guts to do in public. Criticise an on-air performer because they dislike their character.

If these people continue to send abusive tweets to wrestlers, one of two things will happen. Either wrestlers will stop using Twitter altogether because it’s not worth the hassle, or the fans who send abuse will end up getting reported to authorities. Regardless of what happens, this minority of wrestling fans (or morons as I like to call them) are going to ruin it for the rest of us, which is a damn shame.

Sorry if it seems like I’ve got on my high horse this week or taken the moral high ground, but it was something that I felt the need to write about. Do you agree/disagree? Feel free to get in touch, either by leaving a comment below or find me on Twitter @george_sltd. I’ll be back next week with another FATP. Until then, have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

Peace out,