Bernd Leno stopped reading social media after Robert Enke comment
"I don't need that, it doesn't make me better, it is wasting time"
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has revealed how he stopped reading comments on social media after he was told to copy Robert Enke, the former Germany goalkeeper who committed suicide in 2009.
Enke, who played for Borussia Mönchengladbach, Benfica, Barcelona and Hannover 96 as well as representing his national side, suffered with depression and died at the age of 32. A Life Too Short, the award-winning book by journalist and friend Ronald Reng, details his career and his struggles with mental health.
Leno told Sky Sports News that he no longer pays attention to social media comments about his performances after reading a comment telling him to "do it like Enke" after a bad performance during his time at Bayer Leverkusen.
"Of course I have a lot of experience with that [social media abuse], here and also in Germany," he said. "There was one thing that kept in my mind, it was crazy.
"I had a very bad game and then one guy on social media said to me "do it like Enke".
"Since I read this I realise that there are so many stupid people on social media. That is the reason I don't read it even when everything is good. I don't need that, it doesn't make me better, it is wasting time.
"There are so many fake people that hide behind their computers to make you feel bad. Many times with racism, abuse to families, I don't like it, I don't read it. It affects your life, what is the point?"
Leno's comments follow the news that key figures at some of English football's leading organisations had addressed an open letter to Facebook and Twitter calling on them to take stronger actions against those guilty of aiming abuse at players and officials on the platforms.