TARGETTED James Horan
MAYO GAA Secretary Dermot Butler has slammed the ‘scandalous’ abuse aimed at Mayo players on social media in the wake of the All-Ireland SFC Final defeat to Tyrone back in September.
Writing in his annual report to next Sunday’s County Convention, Butler also described some of the abuse aimed at County Board officers by ‘keyboard warriors’ as ‘unacceptable’ and called on Mayo people to ‘rally around all our county teams in 2022 and stop the negativity.
“The torrent of abuse aimed at players on social media in the aftermath of the 2021 [All-Ireland] Final was nothing short of scandalous,” said the Crossmolina native.
“There is no justification for the abuse. There were other people calling for James Horan’s head, others saying that Ciaran Mc[Donald] and James Burke had walked away, God will we ever learn in this county?
“We went through 2021 retaining our Connacht title, we gained promotion [from the National League] and qualified for an All-Ireland Final but still some elements out there were not satisfied.
“What is remarkable is that these people claim to want the best for Mayo GAA but I seriously doubt that. It is very easy to set up a fake Twitter account and abuse people from behind a “mask”.
“Over the past weeks the abuse aimed at Officers of the Board from these very same ‘key-board [warriors]’ is also unacceptable.
“If these so-called people can do a better job let them put their names on the ballot paper, but it’s easier for them to hide behind the afore-mentioned mask and take “pot shots” at people trying to discredit them.
“They claim to be Mayo people to me they are cowards.
“These Mayo players owe us nothing. Yes, we have lost six finals in 10 years but nobody feels that pain more than the players themselves,” added Butler.
“I have seen at first hand the personal sacrifices that these players have made, and it saddens me that people can react to the players in such a vile manner.
“These players have family and friends who read these vile comments and it has a bearing on them as well. It would be bad enough if our players were getting paid like some players across the water, but they are not paid. They are considered amateurs and deserve better from a section of our “so-called” fans, some of whom I doubt ever kicked a ball in their lives.
“I wonder how many of the so-called experts would say the comments they have posted to the faces of the players, I doubt if any of them would because they are cowards. “I would urge people to think twice about posting comments on social media, they may think that some of it is funny, but I can tell you it is not, they wouldn’t like it if it was them on the receiving end.
“As I’ve said earlier these players owe us nothing and our day will come, I’m sure of that.
“A lot of work has been done by James Horan and his management team over the past three years and it saddens me that some people are hell bent on dragging Mayo GAA through the mud via social media channels. I sincerely believe that the genuine Mayo GAA supporter pays little attention to these social media outbursts. Yes, we were all very disappointed with the result against Tyrone but that’s where it should stop.
“Our senior players have given us tremendous days over the years and we should be proud of each and every one of them and not ridicule them in public. These lads have families too and they also feel the effects of the negative commentary.
“Let’s hope we will all rally around all our county teams in 2022 and stop the negativity.”