Alex Bruce opens up on 'brutal' and 'disgusting' abuse of dad Steve

Steve Bruce’s son, Alex, opens up on the ‘brutal’ and ‘disgusting’ abuse his dad has received online this season – including one user hoping Newcastle’s boss ‘dies of Covid’ – as he calls on social media giants to deal with ‘idiots’

  • Alex Bruce has opened up on experience of online abuse aimed at his dad Steve 
  • Newcastle manager revealed fan tweeted his son wishing he would die of Covid 
  • Alex called abuse ‘brutal’ and ‘disgusting’ and labelled the online culprits ‘idiots’
  • He called for big social media companies to do more to control their platforms 

Alex Bruce has opened up on the ‘brutal’ and ‘disgusting’ abuse his father Steve has received on social media this season as he called on the social media giants to do more to tackle the problem in football.

The Newcastle manager revealed at his press conference on Thursday that one fan had tweeted his son saying they hope he ‘dies of Covid’ – just one of several abusive messages he has received this season. 

The revelation comes as calls grow for social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook to control their platforms, with shocking incidents of racist and other abuse aimed at players, managers and others working in football a continuing problem.

Alex Bruce (left) has opened up on the ‘brutal’ and ‘disgusting’ online abuse of father Steve

‘When you get the levels of abuse he gets online – through me or whoever else – it can be disgusting’, Bruce told TalkSPORT, ‘It’s happened for so many years now, when you’re managing and in the public eye like he is it becomes normal.

‘I know it’s wrong to say that but it’s become the norm. I know if his team gets beaten on a Saturday he’s going to stick online and on the social media platforms there is.’

‘As bad as I’ve seen recently is ‘Your dad is a *******, I hope he dies of Covid’ It’s to those levels on a regular basis and we’re not just talking about one or two. 

Newcastle manager (right) revealed a fan tweeted his son (left) wishing him to die of Covid

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has reported two separate incidents of racist abuse in recent weeks, while several others have spoken out about their experiences.

Referee Mike Dean also requested not to official during this weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures after receiving death threats online, while fellow manager Mikel Arteta says he no longer checks his social media because he would ‘have to stay in bed’ if he did.

‘You see other people coming out – Axel Tuanzebe, a young lad coming on in a football match who makes a mistake and gets racially abused and you just think ‘It’s so easy for an idiot to sit behind a phone or computer to abuse someone’, Bruce added.

Axel Tuanzebe was sent racist messages after Manchester United’s draw with Everton

‘My dad brushes it off. It’s unfortunate you get used to it. With what he said yesterday, he just spoke out like a lot of people and like a lot of people he’s just had enough of it.’ 

‘How do you stop an idiot at the end of the day? People spend hours campaigning on racism but you still see disgusting acts of racism. Something definitely needs to be done.’

Speaking on Thursday, Dad Steve revealed that he too had death threats from some supporters following Newcastle’s 11-match run without a win. 

‘When we’ve been talking about the Mike Dean situation, it was brought to my attention that I’ve had it too. Some of the stuff I’ve had has been obscene. You feel the hatred and something has to be done’, said the Newcastle manager.

Referee Mike Dean will not be officiating a Premier League match this weekend after requesting to be taken off the rota. That follows death threats directed to him and his family 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed how he and his family suffered threats on social media

‘It’s really horrible stuff, which I couldn’t really catch my breath with. It’s absolutely vile and obscene. It has to be stopped.’

Facebook announced on Wednesday that they would disable accounts found to have repeatedly sent abusive private messages on Instagram, a platform they own.

But football’s leading governing bodies have sent a joint letter to Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg telling them to ‘accept responsibility’ and called the platforms ‘havens for abuse’.

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