#Opinion

Toxic Cricket Fans Bring Shame To The Gentleman’s Game, Again

Dan Christian and Jorgia Dunn
Dan Christian Partner Faces Online Abuse: Indian cricket fans have time and again crossed boundaries with brutal and personal attacks on the players for not delivering as per their expectations on the field. The attacks have often been targeted at their partners, wife and even children.

After Royal Challengers Bangalore lost the Indian Premier League eliminator match to Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, the teammates faced massive trolling on social media. The trolls did not just limit their abusive comments to the players, cricketer Daniel Christian’s pregnant partner Jorgia Dunn was also targetted by toxic fanatics.

The comment section under Jorgia Dunn’s picture on Instagram was seen flooded with abusive comments against her unborn child. What sort of fandom allows for this kind of behavior? Do the players and their family members deserve this hate just because they could not win?

Dan Christian commented on the matter, saying, “Check out the comments section of my partner’s Instagram post. I didn’t have a great game tonight, but that’s sport. However please leave her out of it.” Feeling upset over your favourite team’s loss is one thing but going at them relentlessly and stooping down to the level of abusing them is problematic in every way. Do the fans assume that the players deserve respect only when they win? As if they are not human beings but mere stooges on the field aiming to only please the fans watching them from the comfort of their seats.

This isn’t the first time that people claiming to be cricket fans have ashamed themselves and everyone else who cherish the game and worship the players. Same time last year, Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings were defeated by Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL match. It was Dhoni’s five-year-old daughter who suffered from the so-called obsession of cricket fans in India. A social media user sent horrendous messages to Dhoni and his wife Sakshi’s account threatening to rape their daughter. Even if MS Dhoni had lost a game that meant life or death to people of this country, rape threats to his toddler prove that his fans do not deserve the gratification from his victories.

Actor Anushka Sharma has been at the receiving end of backlash from cricket fans for simply sitting in the stands to support her husband Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Every time Kohli lost a match with Sharma watching from the stands, fans blamed her for it.  Is a man supposed to stop his wife from watching his games because his fans think her presence is not good for his game? How is Anushka Sharma responsible for Virat Kohli’s loss or win anyway?

Cricket in India holds an emotional value and watching our team grab trophies makes us leap with joy every time. Do they not deserve the same support after they lose a game? It’s not as if our cricketers should live and breathe to serve their fans, they are hard-working professionals who give us the joy of being part of something. They do not deserve the abuse and unsolicited commentary on their personal lives just because some fans are too upset with them.

Views expressed by the author are their own.