The Troll’s Place in Sports Media
The classic Internet Troll has gone through many changes over the years and has evolved alongside sports media. The Troll used to have to leave the safety of his bridge and go to games in order to heckle the professional athletes. A solid performance would entertain the troll with a his or her comedic routine getting a laugh out of other sporting event goers. This comedic routine used to be a creative performance of one liners or a belligerent tongue lashing. Let us call this troll the 1G troll.
A laugh from the crowd or the reaction from his pray would fill the troll with energy that would eventually take the unbecoming troll and transform him in to a “above bridge troll” full of pride and ready to take his act on the road.
The 2G Troll
Other trolls who do not have the charisma to make an appearance in the general population would heckle from under their bridge by way of “hate mail”. This 2G troll is of the lowest form because not only are his routines not creative or funny but he also does not have the courage to show his face when doing it. The 2G Trolls lack of being responsible for his or her words tends to give this troll courage to take thing way too far. Now the 2G Troll is important because he is the genesis of today’s new wave of trolls.
Dan Carson wrote a wonderful article in BleacherReport.com cataloging some of the best hecklers in pro and college sports. The fine Troll would be considered the Kings of their trade by going Viral and having fan recognition. Fan recognition is not a commonly sought out factor in the troll way of life, especially for the 2G Troll.
The 3G Troll
The 3G Troll is the tech savvy troll fishing for reactions on the internet. Now that most sporting teams and professional athletes have social media accounts, this bridge troll don’t even have to leave his home in order to throw stones. On Twitter and Instagram, chatrooms and Fan pages, these trolls are relentless. Some are witty and some are just rude, but they are all of the same tribe looking to start trouble or just get a laugh. What the 3G troll has succeeded at, that the 1 & 2G trolls could not? Access! With constant access to professional athlete’s personal media accounts, the troll cannot be escaped.
The 3G troll has become a way of life.
In Zac Wassink’s article about “The Best Twitter Trolls and Satirical Accounts in Sports Media” on BleacherReport.com, Wassink tells the story of multiple satirical twitter accounts that are solely catered to reporting fake news and incorrect quotes by important names in the business of sport media. Some of these pages are full time jobs and I myself have fallen victim to some of the information being put out by these fake accounts.
“who did what?” I asked myself. Only to find out it was fake news.
The 4G Troll
The 4G troll knows no bounds, the current king of trolls takes the shape of the professional athletes. Professional athletes have been taken the brunt of troll crimes for years and now some have chosen to fight back with their large following on social media. For example Kevin Durant has taken some heat a few years ago when he decided to use a “Burner” social media account and “clap back” at other twitter trolls. So even other Trolls aren’t safe within the troll community.
So What is Next? A 5G Troll?
What could the 5G Troll be?
Have you ever been trolled or been the troll?
If you were an Sports Agent, How would you handle a client of your missusing his or her social media accounts?
Do you think there needs to be action taken against trolls and if so, how?
- Carson, Dan. (2014, February 4th). Best Hecklers in Sports. Bleacher Report, Doi: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1946211-best-hecklers-in-sports
- Wassink, Zac. (2016, March 23rd). The Best Twitter Trolls and Satirical Accounts in Sports Media. Bleacher Report, Doi: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2626773-the-best-twitter-trolls-and-satirical-accounts-in-sports-media
- Gartland, Dan. (2020, February 6th). Kevin Durant Still Uses a Burner Account to Respond to Haters Online. Sports Illustrated, Doi: https://www.si.com/nba/2020/02/06/kevin-durant-burner-account-matt-barnes-video