Sep 5, 2021 - Sports

Sloane Stephens shares abusive messages she received after U.S. Open loss

Sloane Stephens at the U.S. Open

Sloane Stephens at the U.S. Open on Sept. 1. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

U.S. tennis player Sloane Stephens shared a glimpse into the slew of abusive and racist messages she received on social media following her third round loss to Angelique Kerber during the U.S. Open.

Driving the news: Star athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have shined a renewed spotlight on the importance of mental health in sports.

  • Both are Black women who faced considerable public blowback following their moments of candor.
  • The virulence of online racist abuse was also on display earlier this summer after three Black players were targeted after England's European Championship final loss to Italy.

The big picture: By sharing the messages on her Instagram stories on Saturday, Stephens offered an unfiltered look at the vitriol aimed at her.

  • Stephens wrote that she received more than 2,000 messages of "abuse/anger from people upset by yesterday's result. It's so hard to read messages like these, but I'll post a few so you guys can see what it's like after a loss," CNN reported about the since expired stories.
  • "I promise to find you and destroy your leg so hard that you can't walk anymore @sloanestephens!" one message said, per CNN.
  • She also shared messages laden with profanity and racist comments on her posts, NBC News reported.
  • "This type of hate is so exhausting and never ending," Stephens wrote, per CNN. "This isn't talked about enough, but it freaking sucks."

"I'm happy to have people in my corner who support me. I'm choosing positive vibes over negative ones," Stephens added while sharing a few positive messages of support.

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