Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trolling is just not cool

National artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi in action on the balance beam during the Singapore SEA Games. - BERNAMA
National artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi in action on the balance beam during the Singapore SEA Games. - BERNAMA

THE Singapore SEA Games was supposed to be a celebration of human sporting achievement.

Of what’s good. Of what’s decent. 

Unfortunately, many have stained its noble intentions with malicious remarks.

The trolls hide behind the keyboard. They spew hate. They feel no remorse.

The social media attack on our own gold-medal winning gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi - solely on her competition attire - is truly unfortunate.

What was supposed to be a joyous occasion is tainted by the uncouth remarks of cyber bullies.

Fortunately, there are many Malaysians – thousands – who stand by her. And rightly so.

Last week, I was also dismayed to see two Filipino divers, John Elmerson Fabriga and John David Pahoyo being vilified in the net.

They have been given the nickname ‘Splash Brothers’ when a clip of their poor performance in the 3m springboard event went viral with over 10 million views.

Let’s just say, they were totally out of their depth – scoring zero for one of their attempts.

So, it came as no surprise they were roundly ridiculed, even from their fellow countrymen - some of whom labeling them as a disgrace to the country.

Some other distasteful comments read: “Good thing they weren’t North Korean divers, they would have been executed.” “Oh I’m laughing mad! friends do not let them do silly things alone! (laugh).”

I do feel sorry for these two young athletes, competing for the first time on the international stage.

Diving is a highly technical sport. And having covered the sport for many years, I know the hardship divers face to become the best. Even then, errors still happen – to the best of them!

Even our Olympic-medal winning diver Pandelela Rinong was sympathetic.

“Such mistakes happen because they don’t have the right technique. You need to train with the right technique, and you can only get that through experienced coaches.”

“I felt sorry for the Filipino divers because they are not as fortunate as us. The boys did tell me about the lack of support and funding.”

Let’s show some class.

You may think it’s cool to mock athletes or anyone else for that matter. But actually, it’s not.

The Star Online

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