Infotainment Factory: Bombers star reveals sobering toll of online abuse

Trending

>

Post Top Ad

Post Top Ad

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Bombers star reveals sobering toll of online abuse


//

Essendon star David Zaharakis has sounded out an important message towards AFL fans about the perils of online abuse and the resulting mental health issues for players.

Speaking on the AFL Footy Show after St Kilda announced that midfielder Jack Steven was taking an indefinite break from the game due to mental health issues, Zaharakis said it was important for fans to remember the human side to athletes.

“You’ve obviously got to take the human element into it,” he said.

“We’re professional footballers but we are humans also. I think a lot of people these days (suffer from mental illnesses). I’ve got a personal account of it, someone in my family suffers from mental health (struggles).

“It’s something that’s always going to be there in society and footballers aren’t immune from that. It’s great that (Steven) has taken leave from the game to get himself right.

David Zaharakis

“Hopefully for him, he can get time away and recoup and come back a better person and a better player.”

Zaharakis also revealed the direct impact that abusive and negative social media interactions can have on professional athletes.

“The scrutiny in the AFL, you open up so many things these days with social media and anyone can say anything to you,” he said.

“If you’re having a bad day and all of a sudden you cop that, it feels like your world is crashing down around you.”

The veteran on-baller was a part of the Essendon side that received a 72-point hiding in Round 1 at the hands of the GWS Giants, and revealed that the backlash caused him to delete his own Twitter account.

Jack Steven

“I was sick of the social media ride you go on with Twitter and how anyone can say anything, so I quit it about eight to 10 weeks ago, post Round 1. I was just sick of it,” he said.

“You go on there and you just cop things from anyone because anyone can say anything.

“I haven’t had it for seven or eight weeks now and I don’t even want to go on it, I don’t even look at my phone and think about it.”

Since starting the season with consecutive losses to the Giants and Saints, Essendon has turned its season around in drastic fashion.

Zaharakis pinpointed the key to the turnaround being the Bombers getting back to their signature blistering starts to matches.

“Definitely in Round 1, obviously we didn’t play the way we wanted to and it kind of just hit us in the face. No one expected that,” he said.

Essendon Bombers

“Since then, even against St Kilda we showed some good signs and then all of a sudden our last month has been very good.

“I think starts of our games are crucial. In those three wins we had really good first quarters and on the weekend Collingwood got the jump on us and we were just clawing back all day.

“We couldn’t quite hit the lead and when you’re doing that against sides and giving them four-goal head-starts in the first quarter you struggle.

“Not that we can’t come back because we did, but our first quarter and our fast starts can go a really long way towards winning the game.”

Zaharakis and the Bombers look to get back in the winners’ list when they take on the AFL’s hottest team in Geelong at the MCG on Sunday.

Essendon star David Zaharakis has sounded out an important message towards AFL fans about the perils of online abuse and the resulting mental health issues for players.

Speaking on the AFL Footy Show after St Kilda announced that midfielder Jack Steven was taking an indefinite break from the game due to mental health issues, Zaharakis said it was important for fans to remember the human side to athletes.

“You’ve obviously got to take the human element into it,” he said.

“We’re professional footballers but we are humans also. I think a lot of people these days (suffer from mental illnesses). I’ve got a personal account of it, someone in my family suffers from mental health (struggles).

“It’s something that’s always going to be there in society and footballers aren’t immune from that. It’s great that (Steven) has taken leave from the game to get himself right.

David Zaharakis

“Hopefully for him, he can get time away and recoup and come back a better person and a better player.”

Zaharakis also revealed the direct impact that abusive and negative social media interactions can have on professional athletes.

“The scrutiny in the AFL, you open up so many things these days with social media and anyone can say anything to you,” he said.

“If you’re having a bad day and all of a sudden you cop that, it feels like your world is crashing down around you.”

The veteran on-baller was a part of the Essendon side that received a 72-point hiding in Round 1 at the hands of the GWS Giants, and revealed that the backlash caused him to delete his own Twitter account.

Jack Steven

“I was sick of the social media ride you go on with Twitter and how anyone can say anything, so I quit it about eight to 10 weeks ago, post Round 1. I was just sick of it,” he said.

“You go on there and you just cop things from anyone because anyone can say anything.

“I haven’t had it for seven or eight weeks now and I don’t even want to go on it, I don’t even look at my phone and think about it.”

Since starting the season with consecutive losses to the Giants and Saints, Essendon has turned its season around in drastic fashion.

Zaharakis pinpointed the key to the turnaround being the Bombers getting back to their signature blistering starts to matches.

“Definitely in Round 1, obviously we didn’t play the way we wanted to and it kind of just hit us in the face. No one expected that,” he said.

Essendon Bombers

“Since then, even against St Kilda we showed some good signs and then all of a sudden our last month has been very good.

“I think starts of our games are crucial. In those three wins we had really good first quarters and on the weekend Collingwood got the jump on us and we were just clawing back all day.

“We couldn’t quite hit the lead and when you’re doing that against sides and giving them four-goal head-starts in the first quarter you struggle.

“Not that we can’t come back because we did, but our first quarter and our fast starts can go a really long way towards winning the game.”

Zaharakis and the Bombers look to get back in the winners’ list when they take on the AFL’s hottest team in Geelong at the MCG on Sunday.

http://bit.ly/2ZQgLlr
//

No comments:

Post a Comment