Leeds receive worldwide criticism for 'toxic' tweet as owner doubles down
The official Leeds United tweet has been described as 'vile', 'toxic', 'repellent' and 'disgusting'.
Football pundits are paid to have an opinion. As viewers we are free to agree or disagree. Indeed, if their statements were not opinionated or thought-provoking, we would complain about them 'sitting on the fence' and adding nothing to the coverage of the sport.
On Tuesday night, Leeds United won 5-0 playing the wonderful brand of football for which Marcelo Bielsa is rightfully celebrated. But the football club he represents somehow managed to ruin all the good will and praise coming their way by causing a huge controversy.
In a bizarre and rare example of a professional football club targeting a television pundit via official channels, the Leeds United twitter account shared a clip of former Chelsea and England player Karen Carney questioning whether a forced break in last season benefitted Leeds' promotion push.
It was part of a greater point she was making actually praising Bielsa's team for their hard running and committed style of play. That didn't stop Leeds causing a controversy with the following tweet:
— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 29, 2020
The tweet has been widely condemned by football fans, pundits and journalists from around the world. Some have claimed it to incite a 'pile-on' against Carney, others have pointed out that male peers are rarely if ever targeted for their comments in such a way. Here are just a selection of comments on the tweet:
Whether or not it’s a good point, about 100 different male pundits have said 100 different things about Leeds United and not one of them have been called out for it. This isn’t a good look lads https://t.co/5CQuA5YYxo
— Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1) December 29, 2020
Just out of interest - does the Leeds Utd admin tweet this if it's Neville or Carragher talking? https://t.co/u4OcV69eBB
— Hugh Woozencroft (@HughWoozencroft) December 29, 2020
It's been said but this is a dreadful move by Leeds with this tweet.
Inviting the worst kind of pile on.
It's also pretty small-time. You've just won 5-0, focus on that. https://t.co/cz3MAqsTPP
— James McManus (@JamesMcManus1) December 29, 2020
Really dislike this from Leeds... We live in a toxic digital world where it's really easy to attack someone from behind a screen. For a club to basically send the "twitter mob" after one person just because they don't agree with her opinion... just not ok in any way. https://t.co/nRGLwml6G3
— Alexandra Jonson (@AlexandraJonson) December 29, 2020
The misogynistic and abusive replies to this tweet should have been 100% predictable to anyone working in social media. It doesn't really matter whether or not you think Carney is making a valid point tbh, admins need to be more responsible than this. https://t.co/y4wflwnaNI
— Will Magee (@W_F_Magee) December 30, 2020
Rather than apologise and/or delete the tweet, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has doubled-down and taken responsibility for the post:
I take the responsibility of the Club tweet. I consider that comment completely unnecessary and disrespectful to our Club and particularly to the fantastic hard work of our players and coaches whom were understanding on the pitch for the last two championship seasons by all stats
— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) December 29, 2020