A bit of friendly banter is fine, but when you accuse someone of letting down their father, who had recently died from brain cancer, and then send them a death threat — well, that’s so far below the belt, it’s seeping out the hems. After placing fourth in the synchronised diving, Tom Daley received the horrifying abuse over Twitter yesterday, leading to the 17-year-old critic’s arrest this morning.
Daley, understandably upset, responded to the attack by tweeting: “After giving it my all…you get idiots sending me this…” Both fans and other athletes rushed to Daley’s defence too, while the “idiot”, Rileyy69, posted a few grovelling apologies before resorting to some frankly horrifying death threats, which he then deleted before locking his account.
That didn’t stop the police raiding a guesthouse in Weymouth and locking up the offending teenager, though. Fair enough, we were all disappointed when the synchronised diving duo missed out on a medal, but abusing him — anyone, really — on Twitter is just not on.
Anyway, it looks like the police are pretty hot on athlete-hate right now, so no matter how drunk or hot under the collar you get, don’t even consider tweeting anything negative to Team GB athletes — save yourself and everyone else the pain, and keep your disappointment aimed at the TV. [BBC]
Update: For more information on the legalities involved here, check out the Digital Report for a decent, understandable breakdown.
Image credit: Arrested from Shutterstock