Dallas Latos case shows the worst of Twitter

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The Pirates beat the Reds last night in the NL Wild Card game, but an ugly storyline ensued surrounding Dallas Latos, the wife of Reds pitcher Mat Latos.

During the game, Latos tweeted that she was assaulted by a Pirates fan at PNC Park.

In the 15 hours since, her timeline is a continuing stream of information about the alleged assault, criticisms of stadium security and police, and conversations with supporters and trolls.  Pittsburgh police held a news conference today to say they weren't moving forward with the case, but Latos is free to pursue charges herself.  She tweeted that she will do just that.

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Regardless of what happened at PNC Park, Latos tweeting her story uncovered the absolute worst of Twitter.  These are actual tweets sent from real people to Dallas Latos after she alleged she was assaulted.  Some of them are very disturbing.

There are literally hundreds of tweets that fill Latos' mentions that are in that same vein.  Some even worse than those listed above.

One particular person who engaged in this kind of unseemly behavior was Pittsburgh radio host and former WCW commentator Mark Madden.  Last night Madden appeared supportive of Latos telling her story and wanted to know more details.

That changed today as he told her to "Shut the F up already."  That led to this conversation between Madden and Latos:

Seeing that kind of behavior from trolls on Twitter is one thing… but to see it from radio hosts too?  Yuck.  If it was the wife of a Pirates player would Madden be telling them to "shut the F up"?  Would he tell them to disappear along with their "hubby"?  If it was someone he knew would he tell them to "quit whining"?  Is that what we want to all people who are alleged assault victims?  Shut up and just deal with it privately?  Is that a culture that sports wants to perpetuate because a woman from a rival town happens to be the one making the claims?

For as many people that sent awful tweets about this situation, there were many that supported Dallas Latos.  That's important to mention too.  Even Latos herself was careful to say this was not a condemnation of all Pirates fans.  There are some decent people in the world.  However, all too often social media exposes this ugly underbelly of our society that hides in the darkness.  The anonymity and distance that Twitter creates between people makes it all the more easier to hurl the ugliest of insults and swear words at others.  Because of the abuse Latos has received, what happens the next time someone gets assaulted at a stadium?  Do they stay silent next time because of the social media backlash?

Matt Yoder

About Matt Yoder

Managing Editor of Awful Announcing and award winning sportswriter. Bloguin consigliere. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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