PAUL NICHOLSON has lashed out at social media trolls as “sick” who continually abuse top darts players.
The former Players Champion was dubbed a cheat last week after losing out to Martin Adams 4-0 in the Modus online darts league.
It comes after a spate of abuse including Kyle Anderson, playing just a week after recovering from Covid-19, being called a “f*****g d***head” and Michael Smith told “cheers ya fat ugly b*****d walking heart attack”.
Former world champ Rob Cross received death threats a year ago and Nicholson is concerned about the increase of attacks.
He told Sporting Life: “It makes me sick that most players within the Modus league and the PDC Home Tour have had this social backlash after things have not gone the fan’s way.
“It worries me that there’s nothing we can do about this kind of social media activity. We feel helpless about it. It’s hurtful.
“Just to paint a picture, I’d heard about Kyle’s (Anderson) stuff on social media by actually reading his feed.
“I don’t understand how anybody can cast aspersions that someone who’s been through Covid-19 personally, who has been away from his family and still put his hand up and say I want to play on the PDC Home Tour, given his best and is then insulted. Just because somebody lost a few quid.
“They made the wrong choice on who to bet on. These people just don’t look in the mirror, they think that we should take the blame for their shortcomings.”
Nicholson was shocked at the levels of abuse he received but doesn’t believe it will stop until social media accounts are monitored with the contact details of the writers.
He added: “When it came to my situation about my last game last week. I was having a much-improved day, I’d won a few games, ultimately losing to Dave Evans and that stopped my chances of winning the day.
“At that point I thought I wonder if I can steal second spot but like the rest of the weeks, I hadn’t looked at social media. And the reason for that was because of the messages I’d received previously.
“I thought I will write my schedule on a piece of paper, I will put a nice tweet out on who i will be playing that day and then I’m not going to look at it until everything is finished.
“So when Martin Adams beat me 4-0 I was devastated because I wondered whether I’d ever been beaten 4-0 or 5-0 over the past few weeks? That really hurt. Not just to lose the match but to lose to a nil was very rare for me.
“And then I decided to put my feet up for five minutes, relax and put my darts away. Then I flicked my social media back on and I was greeted by a couple of really really nasty messages and one on Instagram as well which insinuated that I was cheating.
“I thought, ‘What have I been cheating for?’ I can’t believe that someone would have the audacity to send me a message to say that and call me the worst thing you can call any sportsperson.
“Because if you call someone a cheat, that would send any sportsperson angry. It made me very angry.
“I was spinning for the rest of the day. I chose not to tweet or interact with anyone because I felt that was the smart thing to do.
“A lot of us have been subject to this kind of behaviour. It’s horrible to receive it but unfortunately it’s pretty much part and parcel until the day that every account on social media is verified which I don’t see happening.”
By Phil Lanning