Tennis players threatened on Twitter

Last summer Dutch tennis player Robin Haase received numerous death threats on Twitter and other (social) media, such as his personal E-mail and his on website.

An example of one of those tweets directly after he lost a match in an Italian competition:

‘M*****F*****. I’ve lost a lot of money on you because you sold your match. I’ll finish you off.’

It later turned out most of ‘death’ threats such as this tweet were posted by frustrated gamblers.

Robin hoped that the players’ union ATP  could do something about this situation, but it seems not much is changed. In an interview he said that the chances of something really happening to him are very small, but you never know. The situation didn’t help him focus on the sport; that’s for sure.

I looked in the comment section of a news post on this matter on The opinions seemed to be very versatile. Some people say he shouldn’t be such a  ‘baby’ and he always whines about everything, while others were very compassionate and agreed with him.

So how serious should we take tweets and threats like this. With social media it’s so easy to express your opinion and anger, but would someone actually go as far as killing an athlete because of a lost bet?

Do you know more examples like this for known athletes or celebrities?


3 thoughts on “Tennis players threatened on Twitter

  1. My opinion about this topic is that we should definitely take these threats serious. I believe that 9 out of 10 threat-posts on the social media are made by stupid people who were very mad about something and they don’t realize what mess they can make by posting stuff like that. The reason why we should take these threats seriously is because the other part (1 out of 10) is mental and could do harm to anyone. In this example because he lost his bet. Nowadays there isn’t only legal betting, people also place illegal bets. The quotes are higher but also the risk.

  2. Unlike the reply above me I think that threats on Twitter aren’t serious. Last week there was a threat on Twitter to the V&D store in Haarlem by a account called ‘CricusBloed’ in which Bloed means blood. The person said that on the beginning day of a discount action week on 11.50 there would be a bloodbath. Because the police is required to take every threat serious there was a police-team on site the whole day. As expected by me nothing happened en it was just someone who wanted to create chaos. This Also happened in the last year at a school in Leiden. And like in Haarlem nothing happened. As far as I know in Holland there was never a Twitter-threat that really happened. My opinion is that at the time some mental person really is serious about threatening someone he would do that in a personal message and is very quiet and discrete about it because he wouldn’t me be caught that easy then. Concluding my opinion is that threats on Twitter or other social media are just a need for attention by the sender of the threat.

  3. Although I agree with the fact that it’s unlikely that the threats will actually be executed, I do think there should be some sort of action against these threats. There’s an account on Twitter, called @doodsbedreiging (dead threat) which indexes and retweets all threats posted on that medium. The quite appalling index can be found on their website The goal of the website is to contribute to the social debate about these threats. While very little action is taken from politics, police and justice, a true proliferation of threats on the Internet is created. Especially on Twitter serious death threats are an everyday occurence. Politicians are openly threatened, there are serious calls being made to assault ​​individuals or groups of people, attacks are announced, be they serious or not. All this, and more, without a substantial part of the threateners being addressed and / or punished. The website notes that it might be that many of the public death threats should be taken extremely seriously. Although death might not always be the result, many feel indeed seriously threatened and affected in their personal lives by these expressions.
    Therefore I think it’s time these threats should be punished, to show those pranksters the difference between an innocent joke and a serious matter.

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