Social media will be the death of us. It’ll certainly not help the cause of prominent personalities who spend a lot of their time on it as it opens them up to a torrent of abuse from fans, of both their own teams as well as rival sides.
Not so long ago, Mason Holgate was driven from Twitter after a Merseyside Derby when he sent Roberto Firmino through the advertising hoardings pitchside with a push. The Liverpool fans were irate that the Everton defender had stood his ground, and dug up tweets from years ago where as a teenager he had said some offensive things.
Everton’s own fans piled in on their own player Alex Iwobi last season when the player posted a picture of his luxury car pulling up to a private jet as he went off on holiday after the end of the season. Angered by how lacklustre the Blues were to end the season and finishing in twelfth place, Toffees subjected the player to such abuse that he was forced to delete the post.
And now after the latest derby drama, both Richarlison and Jordan Pickford have faced such vitriol online that Merseyside Police have been forced to intervene and investigate some of the social media posts being made about the pair by Liverpool fans. Racist abuse, death threats and other vile language is not unheard of on social media, but some players choose to continue to have a presence on those platforms.
Richarlison had to take down a tweet attempting to explain that he had pulled back from his initial rash lunge at Thiago Alcantara after a volley of racist responses. Then countryman and superstar Neymar made things worse for the Everton player by flashing his phone number online for all to see, leading to Richarlison receiving over 10,000 messages in just five minutes - one can only assume most of those were not flattering.
5 minutos e já tem mais de 10 mil msgs ♂️ obrigado @neymarjr— Richarlison Andrade (@richarlison97) October 18, 2020
Neymar was livestreaming himself playing Counter-Striker on Twitch when he decided to call Richarlison on Sunday. The Paris St. Germain forward then flashed his phone on the screen to show his viewers who he was calling, but immediately realized his error.
“What happened yesterday? That was a real flying tackle.
“I think I’ve just shown your number without meaning to. I swear it was an accident.
“We’re online. Give a wave. You’re going to have to change your number now.”
The Everton player was less than amused, saying on the video -
“Hey guys, whoever calls me is going to be blocked, don’t call me.”
Clearly that didn’t work and Richarlison was not thrilled by what Neymar had done, calling him a ‘genius’.
Richarlison is going to have plenty of time to think about his action during the derby with his resultant three-game suspension seeing him out until the next international break, with Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester United coming up next.