Jack Grealish quickly became England’s poster boy in the Euro 2020 final and was not only the favourite for the most die-hard England fans.
With Tatler Magazine listing the Aston Villa player as one of the “hottest England players” at the Euros, it was clear this support was rooted in more than just his ability to play an exciting game of football.
However, the same support was not extended to the 25-year-old’s girlfriend, Sasha Attwood.
Ms Attwood, who met Grealish at sixteen, said social media is “toxic” and it is “really sad” that teenagers as young as 13 are growing up thinking it is OK to send abuse online.
In a video on her YouTube channel, she touched on some of the “nasty comments” and abuse she had received on social media, adding that she likes to keep details about her relationship private.
In the video, highlighted by The Sun newspaper, Ms Attwood said: “This whole thing since it’s come out has just shown me that people are literally so mean.
“Genuinely, I was receiving, like, 200 death threats a day. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that.
“So many messages, every single day, and I still get them now, all day every day: ‘I hope you die’, ‘I hope you get cancer and die’, ‘I hope your whole family die’, ‘I hope the next time when you’re in the car you crash it and die’, ‘I hope after Wembley you die’.
“I never realised how bad it actually was, and the scary thing is it’s young girls.
“I’d go on these girls’ accounts who have sent me stuff and they’re literally like 13, 14, and it’s so sad.
“I try and put it down to age, but then I think I was never like that at that age. I never sent a message like that.
“I just think it’s so toxic, social media, and it’s really sad that these generations are growing up thinking that it’s OK to say things like that.”
Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate has previously discussed the issue of hate messages and death threats directed towards individuals online.
Mr Ahmed said: “This culture of impunity for abuse exists because social media firms refuse to take decisive action and impose any real consequences on those who spew hatred on their platforms.
“A social media account isn’t a human right. Abusive users haven’t been de-platformed in the past because social media companies profit from abuse—and especially the controversy and debate it generates.”
The Sun has since launched an investigation regarding Ms Attwood’s comments. It said that TikTok confirmed it had removed comments highlighted by The Sun, and added that its community guidelines make clear this behaviour is not acceptable.
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