One named immediately comes to mind when you think of star NBA players responding to the trolls.
Brooklyn Net’s Kevin Durant has ditched his burner accounts to respond to his nearly 20 million Twitter fans directly. Still, ironically enough, he’s not the NBA star who gets hounded the most on social media because that title is reserved for The King, LeBron James. Pickswise conducted a study highlighting the abuse athletes receive on social media, and James came in first with 122,568 abusive messages over the past year.
We all know how contentious sports fans can get, and social media allows people to throw rocks and hide their hands with little to no repercussions.
“There are few topics that drive conversation like sport. While healthy debate is a good thing, the accessibility afforded by social media has opened up a pandora’s box of trolling and abusive messages aimed at athletes,” reads the press release. “To showcase what elite athletes now have to live with, Pickswise analysed every tweet sent to professionals in the sports of Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Golf, and Ice Hockey over the last year.”
To understand how much hate James gets, it’s important to note that the next most hated athlete is soccer star Marcus Rashford with a little more than 32,000 yearly negative comments. Coming in third is Tom Brady, who, despite making history this year by leaving the New England Patriots and winning his 7th Super Bowl ring at the age of 43 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, got 28,151 hate messages this year.
Kevin Durant came in next as he and the Brooklyn Nets super team failed to make it to the Finals due to injuries that sidelined James Harden and Kyrie Irving even though the Slim Reaper delivered phenomenal performances in their absence. However, the other two members of the Nets’ Big 3 were also on the list’s top 20, which also included NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace, Portland’s sharpshooter Damian Lillard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Steph Curry, and Odell Beckham Jr.