The dangerous psychological nature of those who “slander” athletes. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The dangerous psychological nature of those who “slander” athletes.

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When a player loses, his value decreases…!

The slander on the Internet never stops. Discussions in the Diet continue to focus on making insulting crimes more severely punishable.

Tatsushi Kawashima, a licensed psychologist who leads communication courses, analyzes the situation as follows.

Nowadays, anyone can easily post on social networking sites, and even post anonymously. It is certainly becoming harder to put the brakes on emotions.

Even if you have negative feelings about someone’s actions or comments, if you are able to look at yourself objectively, you will not post slanderous remarks on social networking sites. In contrast, people who are the type to act instinctively without recognizing their own actions tend to write what they think right away.”

In a survey on “Internet slander” conducted by among general members, 51.1% of respondents answered that their “motive for slandering” was “I thought it was legitimate criticism or commentary

Nowadays, even top athletes who are active in the world are targeted and subjected to heartless words. Why should even these athletes, who are striving to reach the top of their game, be slandered?

It has to do with the psychological tendency called “in-group bias,” which is the tendency to have favorable feelings toward a group to which one feels a sense of belonging. For example, we are inclined to cheer for a Japanese athlete at the Olympics because we feel that our own value as a Japanese person will increase if that athlete wins the games. In other words, you are superimposing yourself on the athlete who belongs to the same group.

On the other hand, if an athlete who is active in the world makes a negative comment or acts in a negative way, they feel as if their own value has been lowered. They feel their self-esteem is hurt, so they engage in aggressive behavior such as slander in an attempt to ostracize them from the inner group.

People basically have a propensity to feel excited and fulfilled by not knowing how things will turn out. Sports involve winning and losing, so the people watching are easily excited and lose their rationality. Because of this, athletes in the win-or-lose world may be beaten more frequently than celebrities in other fields.”

Maya Yoshida, captain of Japan’s national soccer team, had this to say when referring to criticism directed at Moriyasu Japan for struggling in the final Asian qualifying round for the World Cup in Qatar in January and February of this year. In these times, we get a lot of very persistent criticism, but we have to concentrate on what we have to do without worrying too much.

At last year’s Tokyo Olympics, when Naomi Osaka was eliminated in the third round, many critical posts appeared in the comments section of news sites. Also at the Beijing Olympics, Sara Takanashi was disqualified in the Nordic ski jumping mixed team due to a violation of suit regulations, and she was bashed on the Internet.

Top athletes on the stage of the Olympics and international competitions receive attention from all over the world, but at the same time, they are also placed in a position where they are easy targets for slander and anti-commentary.

The balance between support and criticism is upset when an athlete loses. The more you like and root for an athlete, the higher your expectations are, so when they are betrayed, it is easy to turn into anger.

At the Tokyo Olympics, as soon as Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the competition, condemning comments were posted on social networking sites. Some of the posts criticized her role as the final torch runner as the reason for her loss (Image: Afro)

The psychology of not forgiving athletes who do not conform to one’s “image” of an athlete

Sara Takanashi, who finished fourth in the individual normal hill at the Beijing Olympics and failed to medal, caused a stir when she was criticized about her makeup. This is unjustified slander. What is wrong with athletes wearing makeup?

If you feel uncomfortable about athletes wearing makeup and feel that it is out of line with your own values, you will dislike even Takanashi, who stands on the ski jump with makeup on. I think this is a pattern of having an image of what an athlete should be like, and not being able to tolerate an athlete who acts differently from that image. Or, in the case of Takanashi, she has been active since she was in junior high school, so I think people may be slamming her because of the gap between her image and the naive image she had back then.”

Athletes at the Beijing Olympics have responded to the “makeup criticism” of Sara Takanashi. Celebrities and others also commented in her defense.

The problem of online slander is becoming more serious, and demands for disclosure of sender information are rapidly increasing.

However, slander is fundamentally a moral issue for those who write about it. Is there a way to deal with the situation when you are about to write something?

It is said that the peak of anger is six seconds. It is easy to become angry and engage in slanderous behavior within six seconds of losing one’s temper. In psychotherapy, we practice coming to our senses, and just taking a deep breath makes a big difference. If you repeat five or six abdominal breaths, you will find that you don’t write as much.”

Words that are written in an emotional way can gnaw at an athlete’s heart and affect not only his or her performance, but also his or her life. When you are about to post a slanderous or anti-sports comment, take a deep breath.

Tatsushi Kaw ashima, a licensed psychologist and mental health worker, was born in 1981 in Tottori Prefecture. In 2006, he established Direct Communication Inc. He established Direct Communication, Inc. in 2006 and offers communication courses mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Author of “How can I have a nice chat with you after all?” (Sanmark Publishing Co., Ltd.), “Be prepared to be hated: If you change your way of thinking, you will be liked” (Mynavi Publishing Co., Ltd.), “Conversation techniques to make your anxiety disappear and get along with anyone at once” (Asuka Publishing Co., Ltd.), etc.

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  • Interview and text Sayuri Saito

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