The Hack: Narrow-minded trolls wade in

It continues to amaze me how narrow-minded people are.

Maybe it was always the case but now in the age of social media it’s become more and more apparent that people share some warped views on the world.

Tweets, Facebook statuses and comments on a number of news websites gives the trolls a voice. I’m all for people being able to have their own opinions but when unsubstantiated claims are made or racist vitriol spewed out that’s where I draw the line.

There was a clear example of it on The Citizen’s website when a user commented on a story I had written about Aaron Phangiso’s bowling action having been found to be illegal. This user went on a rant about how the timing of this news, days before the Proteas depart for the ICC World T20, was some kind of conspiracy against the spinner based on the colour of his skin.

Let’s get one thing straight, Phangiso is worthy of his place in the team based on his statistics. He was the leading wicket-taker among the tweakers in the Ram Slam T20 and is a good foil to Imran Tahir if both spinners were to be played in India.

“Same old trick to exclude a black player, proof that we have plenty of talented black players who are blocked to participate in our sporting codes, coming with some stupid excuses just to create space for some pale colored (sic) boy,” the troll spat out, fingers no doubt flailing on his keyboard.

If that outburst wasn’t bad enough he, she, it – because you never know when people hide behind pseudonyms and faceless profile pictures –  then further proved ignorance with this – “the sooner we get rid of useless old white selectors with narrow minded believes the better.”

Erm, the last time I checked Errol Stewart was the only white face on the five man panel.

The scary part of these deluded utterances is that there has been a similar train of thought on a number of social media channels this week with plenty of people coming out and saying that there’s a vendetta against Phangiso.

Some people have even suggested that his recent indiscretions, the disciplinary procedures – kept quiet by Cricket South Africa – following an incident on a flight back from India last year and the recent outburst after an animated re-enactment on the side of the field during the T20 series against England was caught on television are part of of that conspiracy.

Moral of the story? Think before you type before you tweet.

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