A total of 27 athletes, the vast majority of them women, received hate messages of a sexual or racist nature through social media at the IAAF World Championships in Eugene, US, last summer. This is according to a report from World Athletics.
The World Association of Athletics Federations had Twitter and Instagram accounts for the 461 participating athletes from July 10 to August 1. More than 425,000 messages were analyzed.
A total of 59 discriminatory messages were found, originating from 57 unique authors, and targeting 27 athletes. Sexism and racism dominated the messages, 60 percent of which were directed at women. Twitter was the preferred platform for hate messages.
World Athletics also conducted a similar study during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and then there were also disturbing results. Then 23 athletes were subjected to insults, and the hatred was directed mainly at women.
“The results of this second study are more worrying than ever,” said Sebastian Coe, President of the World Association of Athletics Federations. “It is important that we know where and how athletes are being abused on social media so we can take steps to protect them and prevent future abuse.”
“There is no place for abuse in our sport and we need to send a clear message to those who believe athletes are easy targets for this abuse,” Koe continued. We will not hesitate to punish those who offend our athletes if we can identify them. It is our duty to protect our athletes as best we can.”
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