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Anti-Social Media

Under the veil of anonymity, people use social media to bully athletes and random people whom they disagree with without having to face real-world consequences for their behaviour.

(EDITORS NOTE: This image has been altered: [Double exposure... Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

You have probably seen the responses now to the hate Maxime Comtois received on Instagram following the missed penalty shot in in overtime in Canada’s Quarter Final loss on Finland on Wednesday. If you think about it, there is no surprise that someone received hate on social media. It always happens.

I will admit, I have taken steps to protect myself on social media. My personal Twitter account is usually locked and I show up anonymously on the Arctic Ice Hockey account with no identifiers unless you know my style. Because of this, I have rarely received anything I would categorize as hate online. Yes, people have disagreed with me, but a difference of opinions are allowed as long as facts are not being bent to shape an argument.

Athletes are people. There is always a human element when sports are played and it is elevated when the athletes are below the senior level. There is a reason we are amazed when a young person does well on the world stage. The World Junior Championships are fun for two reasons: you can see the rise of other countries faster than you see it at the senior level and the games are unpredictable because kids are unpredictable.

There is no reason to ever hate on someone on social media or in real life unless they literally are white supremacist or a hate-mongerer. If someone disagrees with you, let it go. If someone has hurt you, tell them and explain why. And if someone messed something up in a sporting event, realize that the sun will rise tomorrow, the world will keep turning, and that no one feels worse for that mistake than that person.