Ugly fallout as pundit deletes Twitter account after online abuse

Karen Carney (pictured) during commentary for BT Sport.
Karen Carney (pictured) has deleted her Twitter account after being targeted with online abuse following Leeds United's tweet. (Getty Images)

Karen Carney has deleted her Twitter account after being bombarded with online abuse following Leeds United’s controversial tweet singling out the former footballer turned pundit.

Leeds United came under fire earlier in the week when a Tweet from the club’s social media singled out Carney, an England international with 144-caps, after she was asked for her thoughts after Leeds’ 5-0 victory over West Brom.

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She argued Leeds had benefitted from the coronavirus-enforced hiatus earlier in the year, with the time off enabling players to get some crucial rest in order to maximise manager Marcelo Bielsa’s intense and physical style of play.

When asked about Leeds’ promotion to the Premier League from the English Football League after the break, Carney suggested they had been given some ‘respite’ thanks to the time off, adding that she was curious to see if players would wane as the season wore on.

But her opinion was singled out by Leeds’ social media account.

They reposted the video and added the caption: “Promoted because of Covid” and “we won the league by 10 points.”

Many called for the post to be deleted after Carney was mocked.

BBC journalist Emma Sanders said Leeds’ tweet was encouraging ‘unwarranted abuse on a platform which is already too toxic’.

She had support from fellow journalist and sporting commentator Jacqui Oatley, who also said it would encourage abuse towards Carney.

“The person tweeting on behalf of huge club, @LUFC, can’t have had to choose their exact wording perfectly on a freezing cold night on live TV, neither can they have been on the end of a Twitter pile on and experienced the consequences of abuse on mass scale,” Oatley wrote.

Others labelled Leeds’ tweet ‘desperately poor form’, while former Leeds defender Rio Ferdinand suggested the club should delete it.

England international Bethany England said the tweet was ‘atrocious behaviour’.

But in a further twist, Carney has deleted her Twitter account after a barrage of online abuse.

Leeds owner doubles down on tweet

Initially, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani doubled down on the team’s tweet after some spoke out against it, labelling Carney’s commentary ‘disrespectful’.

“I take the responsibility of the Club tweet,” he wrote.

“I consider that comment completely unnecessary and disrespectful to our Club and particularly to the fantastic hard work of our players and coaches whom were understanding on the pitch for the last two championship seasons by all stats.”

But the club has since released a statement condemning the online abuse of Carney.

"Everyone at our club respects Karen greatly for all she has achieved in the game, as well as her work in the media and the charity work she undertakes,” it read.

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