Mohammad Shami, who was viciously attacked online after India lost to Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opening match, found some belated TLC from both politicians and sporting heroes.
Rahul Gandhi, Omar Abdullah, Asaduddin Owaisi stood by the Indian bowler and condemned his targeting by the social media trolls.
“Mohammad #Shami we are all with you. These people are filled with hate because nobody gives them any love. Forgive them,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted in support of the cricketer, blunting the online hate received by the Indian bowler.
It was in Shami’s over that Pakistan completed the 152-run chase with Mohammad Rizwan depositing the Indian pacer to all parts of the ground in Dubai. Shami was subjected to much trolling after the paceman returned figures of 0/43 in 3.5 overs.
“Mohammad Shami is being targeted on social media for yesterday’s (Sunday’s) match, showing radicalization, hatred against Muslims. In cricket, you win or lose. There are 11 players in the team but only a Muslim player is targeted. Will BJP govt condemn it?” said All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“#MohammedShami was one of 11 players who lost last night, he wasn’t the only player on the field. Team India your BLM knee taking counts for nothing if you can’t stand up for your team mate who is being horribly abused & trolled on social media,” tweeted former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Virendner Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, among others, have rallied behind the player.
“When we support #TeamIndia, we support every person who represents Team India. @MdShami11 is a committed, world-class bowler. He had an off day like any other sportsperson can have. I stand behind Shami & Team India,” Sachin Tendulkar tweeted.
“The online attack on Mohammad Shami is shocking and we stand by him. He is a champion and Anyone who wears the India cap has India in their hearts far more than any online mob. With you Shami. Agle match mein dikado jalwa,” read Virender Sehwag’s tweet.
Facebook on Monday said it quickly introduced measures to remove the abusive comments, some of them outrageously vile, against the cricketer.
“No one should have to experience abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on our platforms. We quickly introduced measures to remove the comments that directed abuse at an Indian cricketer and we’ll continue to take action against those that violate our Community Standards,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
The social media giant’s representative also said the company has recently announced updates to its bullying and harassment policy that increases protection for all public figures.
“Additionally, we have tools like Hidden Words that protect you from having to see bullying comments and abuse in your Direct Message requests, and Limits, which protects you when you experience or anticipate a rush of abusive comments and messages,” the spokesperson noted.