Report | WTA takes protective measures to deal with online harassment of players

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Report | WTA takes protective measures to deal with online harassment of players

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SportsCafe Desk

07/04/2018

According to reports, Women’s Tennis Association has decided to finalize a deal with risk assessment and management company, Theseus, to protect players from online harassment. Earlier this year, Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) had set up a deal with the same company in this regard.

Professional tennis players, both women and men, highly ranked and otherwise, from countries all around the globe, have been the victim of online harassment by people. These professional players have to deal with personal insults, threats against family members and what not, with many of them complaining that the threats have often come from disgruntled gamblers.

Madison Keys, who was the US Open runner-up last year and a French Open semifinalist last month, has been considered a contender at Wimbledon and in spite of all these achievements, she has to deal with total strangers insulting her, sometimes with menacing or obscene language, on a regular basis via social media.

“Try to find another job,” one of the messages read that was sent to the American via Twitter after she had lost at the Australian Open. Another called her “the most overrated player in all of tennis.” Those are just a couple of examples of the numerous harassments players go through. Keys stated, “It’s really disgusting, horrible things.”

According to reports from The Associated Press, to help deal with this phenomenon, the ATP had already set up a partnership this year with a company that is dealing with risk assessment and management, and the WTA has been reported to be close to finalizing a deal with the same group. 

“Today, I just looked briefly; I had two or three messages, like, ‘How can you lose to someone ranked lower than you?’ ‘You should die.’ ‘Quit tennis. Stuff like that,” Peter Polansky, a Canadian ranked 110th, said after his first-round exit at the All England Club on Monday. “It’s guys who bet money on you and lost. ... Just the things they say are, like, ‘Wow.’ It’s tough to step in and stop all that. I don't think it's preventable.”

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