British Olympic diver Tom Daley has had a tough time at the pool and on Twitter since arriving to compete at the London 2012 Olympics. Shortly after placing fourth in the men's synchronised 10m platform event, Daley was subjected to a barrage of bullying on Twitter, with some of the harassment stemming from a Welsh footballer's account.
The Tweet from Port Talbot Town Football Club midfielder Daniel Thomas's Twitter account, sent after Daley missed out on a medal, read:
‘If there is any consolation for finishing fourth at least Daley and Waterfield can go and bum each other #teamHIV’
Thomas quickly denied sending the tweet, claiming instead that his account had been hijacked. Thomas apologized and deleted his account.
After an investigation, the Port Talbot club issued a statement:
Upon being informed of the matter, we immediately distanced ourselves from any offensive messages whilst investigating the matter further.
Having spoken at length to the player in question, we believe that he regrettably left his phone unattended and was the victim of a very misguided ‘prank’.
The player issued an immediate apology for the comments which appeared on his Twitter feed and has since deleted his account.
Both the player and club wish to apologise unreservedly to those offended and in no way condone such views.
Unfortunately, that was not the only bullying Daley was subjected to on the microblogging site.
A 17-year old fellow Brit invoked Daley's late father in a series of lowdown messages directed at the Olympian.
"You let your Dad down, I hope you know that," wrote Rileyy_69.
Tom replied to the first message by re-tweeting the "fan" and writing, "After giving it my all…you get idiots sending me this…"
Rileyy_69 continued on his bullying tirade until Daley's fans convinced him to apologize.
Daley's dad died from brain cancer in 2011. "Winning a medal would make all the struggles that I've had worthwhile," Daley told the BBC ahead of the Olympics. "I'm doing it for myself and my dad. It was both our dreams from a very young age. I always wanted to do it and Dad was so supportive of everything. It would make it extra special to do it for him."
(Sources: BuzzFeed; SoSoGay)