Stan Collymore, the former footballer turned radio pundit, hit the news this last week when he got more than he bargained for over his comments and complaints about the personal abuse he has received from some twitter sites. With a little more introspection he might have guessed that his indignant rage over abuse towards himself might well just come back to haunt him. And so this proved to be the case.
His ex-partner, Ulrika Jonsson, in a national newspaper, responded to his comments by branding him a “ vile hypocrite” and a “malicious bully” saying that his protests made her “ sick to the stomach”. Hmm, that’s strong stuff Ulrika in any language and in any forum. But if her claims are indeed true about his previous treatment of her – then one can sympathise with her reaction towards her ex-boyfriend’s howling protestations.
Former TV weather girl Jonsson made these claims against the man because of Collymore’s alleged violent-cum-verbal abuse and various death threats that she alleges the former footballer made against her during their stormy relationship some years ago. It was a romance that ended when Collymore allegedly punched her hard in the face and threatened to ”kill” her – clearly a most unsavoury incident and one that apparently happened in full public view in a well-known French nightspot.
So Mr Collymore is certainly no stranger to controversy. A modicum of simple research highlights the fact that he has been involved in other incidents of a similar kind which do not bode well for a man who may be setting himself up to be the poster boy campaign leader against the scourge of vile Internet tolls and other perpetrators of unsavoury messages. Another partner, Lotta Farley told in 1998 how she spent four years ‘living in fear’ of the man. Also in 1998 he was cleared in court of assaulting another girlfriend Michelle Green. In 2004, the once ever-vigilant but defunct News of the World newspaper ran an exclusive exposing the married Collymore of engaging in so called ‘dogging’ sex sessions in a layby near Cannock Chase. A story, which cost him his job as a BBC commentator. His former wife Estelle Williams divorced him in 2007 after he allegedly threatened to kill her and burn down her parents’ house for which he agreed at court to be bound over to keep the peace in return for the charges being dropped. So there is a bit of history here with our Stanley Victor Collymore. But are people right to castigate the man for his past misdemeanours when he has, over recent years, tried to put his personal anger management problems behind him and raise the public’s profile of bullying and racism?
Every civil, decent and sensible human being wants to see Internet trolls who peddle their vile attacks on all and sundry whenever and wherever they can – receive their due comeuppance. All those that abuse the Internet and the cyber social media avenues in general and who tend to see these brilliant communication tools simply as a means to ply their warped and evil abuse – need to be traced and dealt with by the respective authorities. As always the powers that be have been slow to act in this regard. The authorities have been caught napping on this very important area of public concern. And, for certain, even people like Stan Collymore with all their associated domestic baggage and checkered past – this should not mean that their complaints and feelings should be taken any less seriously than any other victim.
On a personal note, if I may, I’m bound to say, that if Stan thinks he’s a victim of dogs abuse because he’s had a bit of a pasting from a few twitter dunderhead trolls – then god only knows how he would cope if he ever had the opportunity to become a football club chairman? Because believe me when I say that such a role is not for the faint hearted. Over sensitive souls like our Stanley Victor Collymore clearly wouldn’t last five minutes in that sort of role without crying foul.
Let me assure you – what Stan Collymore has experienced on twitter would, and this is an absolute fact – I promise you – would simply pale into insignificant petty silliness next to the abuse that some owner-cum-chairman of professional football clubs receive on a regular basis – especially if their team is underperforming on the pitch.
The verbal abuse, the death threats, the hatred, the public vilification on a grand scale together with the unadulterated bile that goes with that particular territory (and that’s just from some of the more dunderheaded journalists never mind the trolls) would make Stan’s experience look like child’s play. Football club chairman-cum-owners soon learn that they need to quickly develop the skin of a rhinoceros to cope with such silly nonsense. So come on Stan – you’ve got to take some of this rubbish (albeit pretty vile) on the chin and simply write it off as being the utter garbage that it is.
My advice to Stan is to let the police and judicial authorities finally get their act together and squash the twitter and Internet trolls like the insects that they are. Only once a few of these creatures have been sent down for lengthy custodial sentences for spreading their evil bile will the problem begin to be tackled.
As for Stanley Victor Collymore becoming the new poster boy to front-up and lead a campaign against this cyber menace – I’m afraid one would have to conclude, – er – no ! Not possible or appropriate. Our Stanley is not quite ready to be the right candidate at this stage of his rehabilitation reform from the brutal antics that he once was so clearly capable of dishing out to the fairer sex.