Angels’ Chris Iannetta says Twitter haters tell him he should kill himself
Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta became the latest athlete to speak out about the amount of vitriolic hate that can be spewed on social media, especially when a player is going through struggles.
Iannetta is in the throes of an awful slump, notching only four hits in his previous 47 at-bats before Thursday’s game, which makes him an easy target for anonymous trolls and vindictive haters on social media.
When asked if fans have been unduly harsh on Twitter during his slide, the catcher reportedly nodded his head after providing a troubling account of just how troubling it can be for an athlete to be subjected to such hostility.
“When you’re locked in and playing well, it’s OK, but when you’re struggling, it makes it tougher,” he said, via The Los Angeles Times. “If I listened to half the people on my Twitter who told me I should go kill myself …”
Despite the harsh treatment he’s received, Iannetta surprisingly remains on Twitter, noting that the hate he has experienced simply illustrates the ugly side of social media.
“You can highlight charities and causes, bring positive attention to people doing good things,” he said. “But like everything, there’s a flip side, a subset of society that uses it for the wrong reasons. There are people who take pleasure in the misfortune of others. What’s that word for it?”
When a reporter suggested the term, “Schadenfreude,” Iannetta said, “Nailed it.”
After being benched for the first three games against the Kansas City Royals last week, Iannetta found himself riding the pine again for the first three games of the team’s series against the Chicago White Sox this week. He started in Thursday’s 8-2 loss, and after going hitless in his first two plate appearances, he singled in the sixth inning, his first hit in his last 18 at-bats.
While his average remains an abysmal .181, perhaps getting out of his hitless slump will help temper the amount of hate he’s subjected to on Twitter … but probably not.
(image via Monkey With A Halo)