Social media changing how abuse is targeted
It's not unusual for critical, and questionable, decisions made by football officials to result in abuse from fans and pundits. This behaviour though used to be limited to the stands and maybe a few newspapers the following day. These days, social media has opened it up to a greater-than-ever degree and also comes with the risk of mistaken identity...as a well-known music producer found out.
Mike Dean is a music producer to the stars including Kanye West, Jay-Z and Travis Scott but he also happens to share his name with a Premier League referee. And that referee was to be the target of some choice abuse following his controversial decision to send off West Ham United's Sofiane Feghouli early in their game against José Mourinho's Manchester United on 2 January. The numerical advantage seemed to have a direct impact and the Red Devils went on to win 0-2.
Picking the wrong fight
Angry Hammers' fans took to Twitter later that day to vent their anger and one in particular, @TheRivermanRuns, sent his message, not to the intended official, but to a surprised music producer:
...who then responded bluntly:
I AM MOT A SOCCER REFF U LIMEY FUCK. DO YOUR RESEARCH. https://t.co/P2lSYXKBLU— MIKE DEAN! #MWA (@therealmikedean) 3 January 2017
And it didn't finish there. Conversations continued with the definitely-not footballing referee and this included him sharing his love for Manchester United, although based on the tone it's difficult to ascertain what was tongue in cheek and what wasn't. Further tweets showed that the funny side of the confusion had been captured..with memes even being pulled together.
better start to recognize, that without Manchester United and the Refereeing Master that is Mike Dean the Premier League would be nothing!!— MIKE DEAN! #MWA (@therealmikedean) January 6, 2017
But what of @TheRivermanRuns? He started something that got a lot of attention so surely he'd be getting some increased exposure, possibly in the form of thousands of new Twitter followers. Sadly...
Only I would be quoted by my Twitter handle in the world media and still only gain 2 followers out of it. 😂— The Riverman (@TheRivermanRuns) 6 January 2017