Moving appeal – soccer stars read hate comments

Stars from the Bundesliga and beyond address the public with a haunting message – and show what can happen on social media.

It’s a moving and also terrifying video with players from the Bundesliga, from international top clubs, national players, world stars. With big names from world champion Toni Kroos to Bayern defender Niklas Süle and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano to former DFB goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler from 1. FC Cologne, Luca Waldschmidt from Benfica Lisbon or Mark Uth from FC Schalke 04.

Over a dozen football professionals have reached out to the public with a haunted appeal against hate speech on the Internet – reading some of the worst comments to highlight the sometimes extreme insults players face each week.

“I hope you break all your bones,” reads Süle, while his DFB team-mate Kroos makes another comment: “I hope you die in hell.” The peak of the unbearable is reached with a comment to Zieler: “Do the Enke and throw yourself in front of the train”, the 32-year-old had to read about himself.

Kroos: “Bullying anonymously should no longer be possible”

“Cyberbullying is a problem that affects our entire society”, quoted the “Bild” from an official statement by Kroos. “What some people allow themselves behind anonymous profiles is well below the belt, sometimes even in the criminal area.” And further: You have to “find a way to abolish anonymity on the Internet. Everyone who has a profile should show his face and it should be recognizable who is behind it. It should no longer be possible to abuse anonymously.”

The action was initiated by the player agency “Sports360”. “Nobody should just put up with this hatred,” said agency boss Volker Struth about “Bild”. “The penal code also applies online. We want to clarify the extent of this with this campaign. And use the prominence and reach of the players to draw attention to this social problem.”

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