Day Fourteen was a nearly day for Team GB, with two Silvers in the Sailing, in both the Men’s and Women’s 470 classes, plus Bronzes for the Women’s Hockey Team, Anthony Agogo at Middleweight in the Boxing and Lutalo Muhammad in Tae Kwondo. There were a few heartaches as well, as both BMX riders comfortably made their respective finals, only to lose-out in the winner-takes-all one-race finals, our men’s hope Liam Fields crashing-out heavily on the last-but-one bend having held a medal position up to that point.
The Men’s 4 x 100 Relay Team set a new British Record in their Semi-Final, only to be subsequently disqualified for an illegal changeover. This has prompted a number of rather unkind remarks on social media sites blaming the two youngest members of the squad for letting the country down. It seems that these internet trolls, having hidden in their fetid pools for a few days until they considered that the fuss over the Tom Daley incident earlier in the Games had blown-over, have found it impossible to learn even the most basic lesson.
Of course, not all of the commentators are viscious, but even those that aren’t use the constant drumbeat of failure as their raison d’etre for taking the time to throw-in their five penn’orth. Often the opinion given is that, somehow, these young athletes set-out to get it wrong and, although most fair-minded people will recognise how ludicrous that is, it is an unmistakeable early symptom of trollism. So it is up to the majority of us to educate those misguided individuals that make back-handed comments about people they have never even met. Yes, it will take some of our precious time to do so, but if we can put some form of brake on the blame culture so loved by our present-day media, then we may also stop some of these trolls from developing.
It also strikes me, where sporting events are concerned, that the comments appear to show some expertise in the sport concerned. This seems puzzling, as one’s first thoughts are that it is highly-unlikely that this type of person would be in possession of the neccessary skills or abilities to compete with whoever they are criticising. It is, of course, relatively-easy to sound expert about anything when you don’t really have a clue – as demonstrated by any opposition front bench spokesman appearing on Question Time over the last twenty-odd years.
However, there is another angle, in that some of these idiots may have tried the sport concerned, and found themselves wanting, or maybe even given it up when they discovered quite how much they needed to put-in to attain the heights that their victims have achieved. If this is the case, then why not make the punishment fit the crime? If, as they appear to be saying, our government is really serious about stamping-out these cowardly acts by setting relevant penalties for those brought to the courts to face the music, maybe they would like to consider a suggestion for a real deterent for someone lolling on their sofa using 140 characters to denegrate another human being who is at least making an effort to develop something beyond their thumb-muscles.
When they are caught “text-handed”, don’t put them in front of a magistrate and waste time and money on reports from social workers and the like before giving them a community-service order that they can brandish at their mates as some misguided badge-of-honour. Let the Police march them down to the nearest club for the sport they are commenting on, and instruct the coaches there to train them in the very skill they were moaning about until they, themselves, get it right – or if they can’t, then tweet a full public apology.
If they won’t do that, video the session and put it on You-Tube. Then, when they get home, they can read the comments of what others of their kind think about them continually dropping the baton, or missing the dive entry point.