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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.

Go deeper

Sep 5, 2021 - Sports

NFL will allow players to display social justice messages on helmets

A "Stop Hate" slogan on the back of a New York Jets player's helmet. Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images

The NFL will allow players to display choice social justice messages on their helmets and will stencil in "It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” messages in the end zones of every field, the Associated Press reported.

Why it matters: Approximately 70% of the NFL's active players are Black and the initiative is an effort by league officials to display solidarity with players protesting social justice causes like Black Lives Matter, per the New York Times.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.