In an interview with il Brivido Sportivo today, Cristiano Biraghi says that he received death threats via Instagram from an unknown person (who’s since deleted the post) for his performance against Chievo Verona. Not content with confining his vileness to Biraghi, the “fan” also leveled death threats against the defender’s family, using a loss in fantasy football as justification.
In the interview, the Fiorentina number 3 said, “I accept the criticism. I know I’m not Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo and that I can make mistakes on the pitch. I’m prepared to accept insults that are purely about my performance, but I cannot accept is that my family is brought into this as well.” It’s worth pointing out here that he also posted a lengthy apology for his performance on Instagram immediately after the match, so these aren’t just empty words.
The defender continued, “I’m not a phenomenon. I don’t have the infinite quality of Federico Chiesa [ed. note: Biraghi sounds cool as hell], but I want to say to everybody that I will always give everything for this shirt.” He continued by emphasizing that he loves the club and the fans, clarifying that he didn’t consider anyone who makes such threats a real fan.
Judging from the tone of the interview, Biraghi is genuinely thrilled to be a Viola player. He goes on at length about how excited he is to be part of such a historic team and how excited he and his family were and are to live in Florence. He’s very complimentary of his teammates, Stefano Pioli, and the entire organization. He comes across as humble, realistic, and earnest, the sort of guy who you’re always proud to have be a part of your team for the way he carries himself.
It’s also worth pointing out that the vast majority of Viola tifosi have condemned and disavowed the scumbag posting threats, issuing a variety of statements on social media with the common sense message that there’s no place for stuff like this in football or anywhere else.
We’d like to add to that chorus. It’s not okay to make death threats to a footballer over a fantasy football result. It’s not okay to make death threats to a footballer under any circumstances. It’s not okay to make death threats to anyone under any circumstances. And with that, I’m going to go contemplate how this kind of shit is still happening. Good christ.