Mario Balotelli’s antics tend to land him in the centre of attention. And no one loves dogpiling on those in the limelight more than social media users. Some, however, go too far.
Anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out found that Balotelli was the subject of more than 8,000 posts on social media. More than half of these were racist.
And he’s not alone in being the subject of abuse on social media. The report found that there were more than 130,000 discriminatory posts on Twitter, Facebook, forums, and blogs between last August and March alone.
Arsenal's Danny Welbeck had around 1,700 posts written about him, with half of these being racist in nature. And Balotelli’s teammate, Daniel Sturridge had 1,600 posts about him with around 60% of them based on sexual orientation.
To put the numbers in a more readily digestible manner, there are more than 550 discriminatory posts per day or one abusive mention every 2.6 minutes. Director Roisin Wood summed up the report perfectly. She said, “The level of abuse is truly staggering. We must do all we can as a collective to protect those who are on the receiving end of discriminatory abuse."
The report found that Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal received the highest numbers of messages. Race, gender and sexual orientation were the most referenced topics. The full report can be read on the Kick It Out website.