The Dark Side Of Fantasy Football Is On Twitter

It’s a guarantee. When your grandmother asks for fantasy football advice, the culture is approaching full blown saturation mode. 

Forget about outlet malls, Taylor Swift or Donald Trump, fantasy is taking over America. You literally can’t go more than five minutes without seeing or hearing a mention of Draft Kings on ESPN.

But with this incredible popularity, comes its demise. And it’s not going to be because of gambling.

It will be because the NFL’s players will be fed up with the attacks. 

Go ahead and do a Twitter search of a player following a bad performance. What you’ll see may not bother you, possibly because you’re one of the harassers or because you’ve grown numb to internet trolling, but the comments are beyond reprehensible. 

There’s plenty of examples following this week alone.

First, there’s Denver running back C.J. Anderson, who encouraged fantasy players to drop him from their teams. After scoring one point on eight carries for 18 yards Sunday, I understand why.

How about under-performing second-year star Bengals running back Jeremy Hill, who was considered by many a first-round fantasy pick before the season?

Jonathan Stewart, who exited Sunday’s game because he got INJURED — not immune.  

And while harassing and threatening players is anything but new, notice how the comments are fantasy football related. 

In fact, most of the aforementioned could be considered benign to some of the real threats posted on Twitter. For instance, how about a mention of murdering Lamar Miller?

 More inappropriate examples:

Most of these commenters made not just the conscious decision to write such deplorable words on public social media, but also tagged the player’s handle in the process. Never in my entire life, as a fan or an observer, have I ever felt the need to reach out to players to tell them anything, especially regarding a poor performance.

Of course these trolls are a small percentage of idiots. Many who play fantasy football, including myself, actually have a life, a good one that includes loved ones, a career and an overall happy demeanor.

People such as ‘Hasann RANside’ @DrTruth247, I suggest getting a life along with a new job after you delete your Twitter account. Because I’m fairly certain no employer wants someone spewing that kind of word vomit on a public forum. 

It’s time for consequences for internet trolls, including the athletes who play hurt, tired and injured each and every week. If something doesn’t change soon, we’ll all look back on this amazing era of unprecedented access to athletes as one of the great fails in cultural history. 

These athletes are humans. With families. With hearts. Treat them like it. Regardless of how they help you in ‘fantasy.’

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

Photo: Getty Images