The rise of social media has led to some worrying problems for football clubs lately. In a vicious cycle, fans would first take to social media to launch verbal attacks at players for their poor performances on the pitch, while the players would then under this incitement hit back at the abusive fans by reacting.
At times players dig their own graves by inciting fans without any reason. Earlier this season, Brentford striker Ivan Toney was spotted by fans online in a video disrespecting the club and using abusive language to refer to the Bees. He was seen in the video saying “f*** Brentford” which went viral on Twitter and forced the player to apologize in a press conference in the following days.
Now, it looks like another Premier League player has followed in Toney’s footsteps as Norwich City left-back Brandon Williams took to his Instagram account on Sunday to rile up Norwich fans with a post mocking the club’s defeat 4-0 to West Ham on Sunday. Alongside a picture of him giving the middle finger, Williams added digs at the Canaries such as “what a beautiful day” and “easy up Norwich City.”
The Englishman has surprised many football fans with this blatant attack on the club with reports even emerging that Norwich is investigating the incident.
With fans on the lookout for an explanation for the Manchester United loanee’s actions, the player himself revealed later that he was motivated to make the post after a few Norwich fans followed him home in the aftermath of a disappointing outing on the pitch. Williams’ next post revealed that the angry fans were turned away from his residence thanks to his guard dog (a pitbull) on the prowl by the entrance.
Perhaps even though Williams was right in defending himself from a potential attack from fans, his taking to social media to call out the club (as he tagged the official club page) has not gone down well with the footballing community.
United fans have been the most vocal over his post as he is set to return to the club at the end of the season and the Red Devils do not want another player with a history of social media scandals to add to their existing troubles.
With Williams and Toney putting up bad precedence for footballers’ social media presence, football fans have also called for ‘social media training’ to be provided to all professional players in a bid to reduce the frequency of such incidents in the near future.