Words Matter: Negative Remarks’ Effects on Football Players

By Associate Prof. Dr Mohamad Nizam Nazarudin, Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
& Sabah FC Sports Science Advisory
KOTA KINABALU: Dominic Tan garnered significant attention and discussion among football enthusiasts in the nation after the defeat of the Harimau Malaya team to Tajikistan during the final action of the Pestabola Merdeka 2023 tournament at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The action shown by the defender of Sabah FC elicited many accusations from the fans, as it was said that his actions were responsible for enabling Tajikistan to secure two goals. The outcome of the match at home resulted in a significant number of fans attributing responsibility for the loss to the Sabah defender. However, there were many who offered support to the national defender and believed that the responsibility for the loss should not only rest with Dominic.
Here, I want to talk about the possible harm that might come from football players receiving unfavourable remarks on social media. On social media, negative remarks may affect football players in a number of ways. First of all, derogatory remarks may cause tension, worry, and sadness in football players, all of which can have an impact on their mental health. It may also have an effect on their self-worth and confidence, which might have an effect on how well they play. Second, unfavourable remarks may damage football players’ reputations, which can impact their marketability and ability to get sponsorship agreements.
Thirdly, football players’ support base may be impacted by disparaging remarks. There is a chance that supporters would turn against them, which would reduce their allegiance. Finally, unfavourable remarks may also have an impact on team chemistry, resulting in rivalries and stress among teammates. In conclusion, football players’ personal and professional lives may be significantly impacted by unfavourable remarks made on social media. To lessen the impact of these remarks, it is imperative that the player respond to them and handle them well.
There are several strategies for efficiently addressing and managing unfavourable comments on social media platforms. In the event that comments exhibit abusive or threatening content, it is advisable to promptly notify the respective social media network. The majority of sites have established standards that prohibit instances of harassment and abuse. In many instances, opting to disregard unpleasant remarks may prove to be the most effective approach. Engaging with negative remarks has the potential to exacerbate the issue and create a greater atmosphere of negativity.
In the event that the players want to provide a response, it is advisable to do so in a composed and formal manner. It is advisable to refrain from adopting a defensive or confrontational stance, since doing so may exacerbate the problem. The primary objective should be to actively interact with positive remarks and foster the development of a supportive community within your sphere. In the event that derogatory remarks are having an adverse impact on your psychological well-being, it is advisable to seek assistance from a mental health practitioner or confide in a reliable someone within your social circle, such as a trusted friend or family member.
Overall, it is important to remember that negative comments on social media are not a reflection of your worth as a football player or a person. Do not let them define you and focus on the positive aspects of your life and career. I hope all Sabah FC fans will continue to support Dominic Tan with positive words of support on social media so that he can give his best performance in the next AFC match against the Haiphong team in Vietnam.
In general, it is crucial to bear in mind that unfavourable remarks expressed on social media platforms do not serve as an accurate representation of one’s value as a football player or a person. One should refrain from allowing others to dictate one’s identity and instead concentrate on the favourable aspects of one’s personal and professional endeavours. It is expected that the supporters of Sabah FC would sustain their backing of Dominic Tan by expressing favourable sentiments on various social media platforms, therefore fostering an environment conducive to his optimal performance during the forthcoming AFC encounter against the Haiphong squad in Vietnam. Good luck Dominic Tan and Sabah FC.


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