Ice hockey keyboard warriors are vindictive says Sheffield Steelers coach
Sheffield Steelers' coach Paul Thompson has hit back at keyboard warriors who target sports managers and coaches.
The ice hockey boss has come under fire from some quarters on Twitter recently - a platform Thompson stopped using two years ago.
But he is aware of some of the vitriol flying about: “Social media means nothing to me.
“Most of the people who criticise managers and coaches in hockey have never skated, never had a stick in their hands and never been to the coal face.
“People are conducting witch-hunts - somebody showed me the other day some remarks about [Coventry Blaze coach] Danny Stewart and they were so vindictive. It was sickening.
“A coach only has to lose one match - just one - and it starts on social media. It’s madness.
“A manager gets abused [online] every minute - I suppose it is just a sign of the times.
“Fans have a right to complain about something they see, of course - but so many of these people on social media, it’s just vindictive.”
Thompson’s views are shared by some players who are relatively immune to the abuse from rival fans - but find some levels of criticism from a minority of Sheffield’s own supporters more difficult to tolerate.
Fourth-placed Steelers won at home last Sunday but were beaten away 7-2 on Saturday, their third domestic away loss on the trot.
They have to travel to Dundee Stars on Wednesday.
Generally, Steelers’ form has been mixed. They are bottom of the Erhardt Conference but have qualified for the next stages of the Continental Cup and Challenge Cup and are in the market for player reinforcements.
Thompson tackled the inconsistencies on Sunday by mixing up lines and promoting on-form players up the rankings.