Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler got slammed on Twitter after sitting out of his Sunday playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. He isn’t the first athlete to receive harsh criticism online and he definitely won’t be the last. Unfortunately, if respected and admired athletes or other public figures get publicly called out and condemned online, think how many kids face cyberbullying every day.
After getting hit on the knee in the first half of his Sunday game this past weekend, Cutler felt unstable and unable to play well (he turned out to have a sprained MCL). But current and former NFL players and commentators immediately took to Twitter, criticizing Cutler with the following comments:
- “If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room! #FACT”
- “HEY there is no medicine for a guy with no guts and heart”
- All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee…I played the whole season on one”
- I’m telling you in the playoffs you must drag me off the field…Folks I never question a player’s injury but I do question a player’s heart”
- “I’ve never played in a playoff game. This guy was one game away and he quit! That’s BS!”
- “As a guy who had 20 knee surgeries, you’d have to drag me out on a stretcher to leave a championship game! #justsaying”
It was easy for everyone to comment on Cutler’s lack of involvement in the game because of the indirect aspect of online criticism. And the same goes for kids – what they might not want to say to someone’s face at school could often be said easily and without a second though when online. Kids need to be aware of the effects that online bullying and hurtful comments can have because – as we’ve seen – anyone can be a victim of cruel behavior online. Whether you are worried about your kids doing the bullying or getting bullied, talk to them about why cyberbullying is a more serious issue than they might think.
Have your kids ever experienced a cyberbullying incident, from any side of it?