Chiefs coach Baxter urges players to try to avoid social media
With the serious issue of mental health in sport getting increasing attention lately, Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has said that players must not get sucked too much into social media.
Sportsmen and women often get heavy criticism from internet trolls on social media and Baxter said he knows of players who turn to banned substance to deal with the abuse.
Speaking ahead of their DStv Premiership clash against SuperSport United at FNB Stadium on Saturday, Baxter, who has suffered criticism from Chiefs fans because of their inconsistent campaign, said he is not a fan of social media.
“I don’t take part in social media,” he said.
“I don’t need to listen to speak to or listen to opinions of some people that almost make a profession out of going online and commenting about things that they really don’t have the deepest knowledge about.
“It’s got to be the knowledge of the supporter, I don’t mind supporters having their banter when sitting in bars or whatever and discussing and criticising. When you have players that are deeply affected to the point of depression, to the point medication, then I don’t think the advice for me will be to be switched into social media to such a deep level.”
Baxter admitted that social media is part of everyday life and is difficult for players to ignore.
“You must be able to take part if you want to, yeah, but you will also have to take a step back from it and see that social media is a phenomenon. I can’t sit down with every player because I don’t know who gets hammered.
“If I get hammered for what Sundowns are doing, for me that is not quite the most intelligent line of criticism. If I get hammered because someone came to watch my training session and the players didn’t enjoy it or the tactical aspects were wrong, then I‘ll listen to that argument.
“Social media is a lot of opinions of people with less information and I am not saying that it is not a relevant part of our society, but I don’t think I can advise to take part in it.
“I have known one young boy who started abusing banned substances because he couldn’t handle the stick he was getting from social media. With mental health being such an issue, my only advise to people is to have the right distance if you are going to take part in social media.”
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