What The Heck Is Wrong With People?

Shelby Rogers

Shelby Rogers is a 28 year old tennis player from the United States. Rogers is currently ranked #43 and over her career, she has won 3 singles title in 2012, another singles title in 2012, and a doubles title in the same year.

It is fair to say that she is not a tour de force in the WTA but is still a good player.

This year at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, Rogers managed to beat the number one ranked and seeded player named Ashleigh Barty who has won 13 singles tournaments and 11 doubles tournament.

Then Rodgers did the “unthinkable.”

She went out and lost her next match.

After the lose, Rogers said that she was not looking forward to the abuse she would be receiving on social media:

“Obviously we appreciate the spotlight in those moments, but then you have today and I’m going to have nine million death threats and whatnot,” she said at the post-match news conference. “It’s very much polarizing, one extreme to the other very quickly.”

Rogers said that while she doesn’t like social media, it’s a big part of marketing right now and she has to post certain things.

“You could probably go through my profile right now — I’m probably a ‘fat pig’ and words that I can’t say right now,” Rogers said. “But, it is what it is. You try not to take it to heart, and it’s the unfortunate side of any sport and what we do.”

She said she didn’t want to pay attention to comments from people posting about her from their parents’ basement, but it “does get to your head sometimes.”

“Social media can’t control what I’m doing and the way my training is going to go moving forward, but I wish it didn’t exist. It’s really tough.”

What the heck?

There is only one person who is going to win the last game and set at the US Open. Just one.

And yet people think that it is okay to attack someone for not being that person?

Someone has to win and someone has to lose. That’s what sports is all about at the professional level. But calling someone a “‘fat pig’ and words that [can’t be] said right now” crosses a line.

American Sloane Stephens had voiced the same concerns after her loss this week:

Sloane Stephens

Stephens, who lost in three sets to Angelique Kerber on Friday after taking the first set, shared in her Instagram stories that angry strangers sent more than 2,000 abusive messages to her Instagram account because they were “upset by yesterday’s result.”

“It’s so hard to read messages like these,” Stephens wrote, sharing examples of some of the messages she received.

The comments varied from vile curse words to abusing her for posting pictures of herself. One message threatened physical harm and said she should be banned from tennis and jailed.

“This isn’t talked about enough, but it really freaking sucks,” Stephens wrote.

Someone actually threatened physical harm over a tennis match?

Good Lord.

Where are people’s priorities?

We vividly remember when Jeffery Meier reached over the railing in Yankee Stadium and cost the Orioles a playoff victory in 1996. We remember umpire Richie Garcia being emphatic about the call – a call that he would later admit he had blown.

We were angry at what Meier had done and how Garcia had screwed the pooch on the call, but we never wished any ill harm to either of them.

That would be nuts.

So what has happened to us? We know that “fan” is short for “fanatic,” but this is ridiculous.

We have always recognized but never understood the calls of “kill the ump,” and now we are talking about threatening players?

It begs the question, “if the players winning and losing bothers you so much, then why are you watching the sport to begin with?”

Get a life and seek professional psychiatric help.

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