Former Arsenal and England star Alex Scott speaks out on dealing with online abuse

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Kieran Harm
Football and NFL Writer. Specialising in the Premier League and Bundesliga

Former Arsenal and England star Alex Scott has today spoken out about dealing with online trolls following the tragic death of TV presenter Caroline Flack. Scott used her Twitter to talk about her own personal dealings with online trolls.

“Last year I really struggled to cope with the online abuse/trolling I was getting,” said Scott. “I kept quite from family/friends and tried to hide it with a smile.

“Feeling low/lonely I went to therapy & continue to do so and it’s the one of the best thing I have ever done. With the news over the weekend I thought it’s important for me to share that there is no shame in going to ask for help.

“Please do not struggle in silence, you’re not alone. Have found it hard to tweet, hearing the news about Caroline Flack [over] the weekend. Love to all her family and friends during this time.”

Alex Scott spoke out following the death of this woman, Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack – the television presenter who was found dead at the weekend prompting Alex Scott to speak out

Scott, like all other women in football, receives endless amounts of abuse from bigots and sexists on the internet who hide behind the anonymity of a ‘fan account’ – normally just because she said something they didn’t agree with.

Comments like “get back to the kitchen”, “you don’t know what you’re talking about” and the likes are a norm on Twitter in today’s society. People can say things they’d never dream of saying to someone’s face on social media and get away with it.

Sky Sports presenter Laura Woods was on TalkSport this morning, and she nailed it with her assessment. I highly recommend watch the video below.

It’s not the first time Alex Scott has spoken of this kind of thing either. Nine months ago she told the BBC: “Twitter is there for everyone to see. I think I get it [sexist abuse] every single day now.”

We’re supporting the calls for social media to become a safer place to be. Every person, every business and every entity who uses social media should have the so-called blue tick. You should have to provide proof of your identity, use your full legal name and have a profile picture that clearly shows who you are.

It’s the only way we can possibly even begin to check the way in which we use social media in society today. People seem to believe that just because somebody is in a position of interest, or have made something of themselves, that it entitles them to send abuse while hiding behind a fake account.

Alex Scott was one of the finest female footballers this country has ever produced, and has now gone on to become one of the finest football pundits we have the pleasure of watching each week.

Alex Scott beaming as she was inducted into the National Football Museum hall of fame
Alex Scott beams with pride as she looks at an award following her induction into the National Football Museum HoF

The abuse she gets is frankly ludicrous – to say she doesn’t know anything about football is like telling Isaac Newton he doesn’t know anything about physics. The only possible reason I can come up with is that these people are simply threatened by a woman who has forgotten more about football than they could ever dream to know.

It’s time we as a society begin to have a look at the way we act and the things we say – and the effects that it can have on a person. If you haven’t got anything nice to say to someone, be it online or otherwise, then for the love of God shut your damn mouth. It really isn’t hard.

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