Safeguarding Online Sporting Spaces: Examining Virtual Maltreatment, Abuse and Toxic Social Media Practices Experienced by Olympic Athletes
The pervasiveness of social media abuse targeting athletes raises significant concerns and dangers that extend beyond the digital realm. Online abuse not only erodes the mental and emotional well-being of athletes, but also poses a threat to their physical safety and professional careers. Policy makers and sport governing bodies must safeguard athletes from increasing online hate, abuse and harassment (Kearns et al., 2023). Calls for further research into toxic social media practices within elite sport have been made, especially focusing on non-Western nations and athletes beyond football (Kavanagh et al., 2016; Kearns et al., 2023; Mountjoy et al., 2016). This research sought to better understand online abuse, its impacts, and current or potential practices to attenuate it. This document is a condensed report of our findings in the format of an industry report.
© the authors
International Olympic Committee Advanced Research Grant Programme
- Loughborough University London