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Karen Carney opens up on suicidal thoughts following online abuse

:Headline: Karen Carney opens up on suicidal thoughts following online abuse:
The former England international deleted her Twitter account in December following a barrage of abusive messages.
Sports Mole

Karen Carney revealed she contemplated taking her own life after receiving abuse on Twitter.

The former England international has revealed how abuse she received in December affected her mental health.

Carney claimed Leeds were promoted last season "because of Covid" – meaning the pause in action due to the coronavirus pandemic allowed their players vital rest ahead of the Championship run-in.

A clip of Carney speaking was tweeted by Leeds' official Twitter account along with emojis and the caption "Promoted because of Covid. Won the league by 10 points".

This prompted an angry response from some fans and Carney received a barrage of abusive messages, many of them sexist in nature, prompting her to delete her Twitter account.

The following day Leeds issued a statement condemning the abuse but did not apologise for the tweet, which was not deleted.

And Carney revealed she felt "physically sick" and desperate as a result of the abuse.

She told BT Sport: "I came off air and got in the car and remember saying to the guy who drives us home 'it's kicking off' and I felt physically sick.

"I was sat the whole night, until three or four in the morning, in this daze. It was horrible.

"I got a lot of stick for coming off of it (Twitter). Then you've got people around you saying stand up to it, banter back and have a bit of fun with it.

"The bottom line was to look after my mental health first. That was my priority."

Karen Carney impressed on the pitch for England (Richard Sellers/PA)

She continued: "It was relentless. I can't even describe it. People that know me know this is the job we do and choose to do it, but I'm low key, a simple girl who loves football.

"I don't want to be bombarded on social media platforms. It wasn't for one hour, it was for three or four days and now it still comes up, people still send me abuse.

"Recently I've been on a lot of government calls with the social media platforms – but they don't understand.

"The people in charge of social media say 'we're doing this, doing that' but they don't understand, I'm just a number."

Love Island presenter Caroline Flack suffered abuse online and took her own life at the age of 40, in February 2020. And Carney, 33, revealed the abuse made her consider doing the same.

She added: "The only way I could make them understand was to say 'do you want another Caroline Flack on your hands?' Because that night that's how I felt, and in that moment I could understand why she did what she did, because I could have gone to that place.

“The only way I could make them understand was to say 'do you want another Caroline Flack on your hands?'”
- Karen Carney

"It's definitely changed me, the impact it's had on me. I've seen it with other pundits, I'm not just speaking about myself.

"About four years ago I got online abuse when I was playing, death and rape threats, leukaemia and things like that.

"When it happened at Christmas it was another trigger and I don't think my mental health has been the same since.

"My behaviour has changed. I've been highly stressed and it wasn't clear until (Chelsea manager) Emma Hayes rang and said 'you've changed'.

Emma Hayes provided support to Karen Carney (Mike Egerton/PA)

"People forget we're human beings. It might be a bit of fun for you but there's a lasting impact and it's got to stop."

As for solutions, Carney said: "I wouldn't mind seeing people who've been abused going to work for those platforms. The best way is to keep putting the message out there to stop those messages at source.

"Just be nice to people and if you don't like what we're saying, just turn over. Don't listen. There's no need to go on and abuse someone.

"We've probably more power to do this today than sit on a government call. If we can stop people at home from doing it, that's the quickest and easiest way."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City36265576294783
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds36165155753453
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
14Southampton36127174763-1643
15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton36814143742-538
RFulham36512192650-2427
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City36265576294783
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds36165155753453
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
14Southampton36127174763-1643
15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton36814143742-538
RFulham36512192650-2427
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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