In memory of Jose Reyes; let’s stop abusing footballers

The death of Jose Antonio Reyes has hit everyone in football. Shocking news to try and digest on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

It is a reminder to everyone how fragile life is.

Bill Shankly was wrong. Football is not more important than life or death.

Reyes death should be a reminder to everyone to be kinder. He had a tough time at Arsenal. After a solid start he was booted out of a game against Manchester United and never really recovered. After this game he became one of those players the crowd loved to get on the back of.

Were he to be at Arsenal in the current era, he would have received a lot of abuse on social media from fan.

Criticising players is fine. Nothing wrong with it. But abuse is wrong and often crosses the line.

It was not too long ago that fans were standing outside the Emirates singing about wishing death on Arsene Wenger. Following the loss to Chelsea, I saw one fan post up a picture of the Munich disaster with the comment “we need Arsenal’s version of this, with Emery and Cech in the front seat”.

Granit Xhaka recently came off social media due to the volume of death threats he receive. Shkodran Mustafi has also received death threats in recent weeks.

Whilst I am sure these death threats may not have been made with the intention of carrying through, it is still clearly wrong. I remember a few years ago someone said they would “find me and slit my throat”. I did not take it seriously but it still was not very nice.

We have also seen a lot of online abuse aimed at Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and more. No one seems to be immune.

If you do anything in memory of Reyes, be kinder.

Criticism is fine; abuse is not

RIP Jose Antonio Reyes


4 thoughts on “In memory of Jose Reyes; let’s stop abusing footballers

  1. junky

    that article is 100% right. cant believe what you just wrote the comment about munich?!? keyboard warriors and abuse is so wrong. reyes left us with some great memories. such tragic news yesterday. 35 is no age at all. may he rip x


  2. Hants Gooner

    Think you’ll find that most if not all the type of abuse, in particular the death threats, aimed at players nowadays come from our overseas “fans” those that seem to think buying a knock off Chinese made shirt gives them the right to do so.
    I unfollowed the official Arsenal Facebook page 2 years ago due to the abuse an death threats aimed at our last manager coming from these so called fans.
    They seem to belive that the club “owes” them something in return for their “support”
    They have no understanding or acceptance of the fact that real fans, l often mentioned fans of teams that had never won trophies yet still supported their club, support all the times ..good or bad..
    This kind of abuse is a modern era thing due to the internet which provides a platform for those that “choose” to support Arsenal due to the success brought to the club by Wenger and think this support should be rewarded by success.
    Unfortunately thanks to the internet this abuse is here to stay


    1. Attacconce

      I disagree that its mostly international fans doing the abuse. Usernames and ip locations are clear in the abuse that makes Twitter headlines. These are English locals. You also don’t see the level of abuse at the stadium on social media; case in point: the Munich photo. It’s the locals that go to games feel because they’ve bought tickets and are physically at the games the club owes them everything, that dish out the most vitriol in chants, banners, insults, and messages. A lot of criticism of players is also racist/nationalist and comes from English locals and English media. If a player is not white and english, they turn on them and put a negative spin on anything they do; case in point: raheem sterling. I hear radio commentaries saying white players “make a wrong decision” while with black players it’s “the kind of brainless (or idiotic) behavior we have come to expect”. This comes from within the borders of the UK. Even the football bosses are culpable. Abuse of players get laughable punishments because they’re okay with it, but have to keep up public appearances of discouraging it.


      1. Hants Gooner

        Well now theres a surprise someone denying the abuse l saw and read on the official Arsenal Facebook page which was most definitely posted from both African and Asian fans, it’s on their profile where they are from, then plays the racist card.
        I suggest you look again at those profiles as when ever l read a headline claiming Arsenal fans are moaning and then look at the Twitter postings showing this its its nearly always comment after comment from overseas fans!
        By the way a “local” coughing up anywhere between £35 and £60 to watch a game has the right to moan after a poor performance but l guarantee that some “local” will be there come the next home game cheering his team on hoping but never demanding trophies in return for that continued support


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