SPORT

Stan Collymore: Twitter Crusader Or Hypocrite?

22/01/2014 09:51 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 08:59 GMT

Stan Collymore has accused Twitter of "not doing enough" to combat abusive tweets on the social networking site after he was targeted by internet trolls.

Police confirmed on Tuesday night they were investigating a series of offensive messages directed at the ex-Liverpool striker after he suggested Luis Suárez cheated by diving during Saturday's match against Aston Villa.

Collymore retweeted some of the vile abuse he has received since the match to his 503,000 followers as he called on Twitter to take action.

He wrote: "In the last 24 hours I've been threatened with murder several times, demeaned on my race, and many of these accounts are still active. Why?

"I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic /sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK."

He added later: "Several Police forces have been fantastic. Twitter haven't. Dismayed."

Collymore, a pundit on talkSPORT, was on Today and Five Live to answer questions with Nicky Campbell, and then revealed he will appear on the "BBC News Channel. Then @talkSPORT. Then Sky."

However positive his intentions, Collymore's crusade comes across as self-promotion. The retweeted praise is a giveaway, his critique of Twitter is dressed up like his live game tweets and the pledge to "end racism, homophobic [sic.], anti semitism, sexism, disability discrimination" is fantastical.

The 42-year-old also tweeted: "Staffordshire Police coming, again. Just the 5th time. Pity twitter aren't interested.

"Police take all complaints seriously,whoever it is. I've waited 6 weeks for twitter to provide information to Police. Yet to respond."

However flawed Twitter might be dealing with complaints, it is a social networking site which will, unfortunately, always be laden with racists, homophobes and sexist chauvinists. Especially when it is possible to use an alias.

The irony is Collymore's past behaviour leaves him open to hypocrisy. He has bragged about sexual conquests openly in the past, and his behaviour as an after dinner speaker two years ago was described as "shocking – the way he talks about women he has slept with as mere objects was pretty distasteful."

For cleaner football supporters who object to his polarising punditry, the preferred method of trolling Collymore is to refer to when he beat up his then-girlfriend, Ulrika Jonsson, in 1998, or his past penchant for dogging. At the aforementioned dinner, the attendant alleged Collymore gave "a potted history of his career, starting with some of Nottingham’s dogging hotspots."

Everyone has a breaking point, and after years of blocking out the abuse, Collymore perhaps feels obliged to make a concerted effort to rally against keyboard warriors. Death threats and racist abuse shouldn't be tolerated, or ignored, however thick your skin is. Only his trailblazing method is flawed.