Tennis player Sloane Stephens displayed vile messages she received from people after losing her match to German tennis player Angelique Kerber at Friday’s U.S. Open match.
The day after her defeat, she used her Instagram story, in multiple now-deleted posts, to speak out about what she’s been facing from people that get upset about her loss. She wrote, “I am human, after last night’s match I got 2K + messages of abuse/anger from people upset by yesterday’s result.” Although the 28-year-old did admit that it was “so hard to read messages” like the ones she received, she decided to expose a few of them so that her supporters “can see what it’s like after a loss.”
One person wrote, “I promise to find you and destroy your leg so hard that you can’t walk anymore @sloanestephens! Fixer and corruption like you must be ban forever in jail! I hope you enjoyed your last moments on court today.”
Another social media user, who left a more extreme and repugnant message, harassed Stephens by directly messaging her four times calling her a “sl-t,” “wh-re,” “c-nt,” a monkey and pig; that person also posted brutal messages, expressing hope that Stephens would be sexually assaulted.
“This type of hate is so exhausting and never ending,” Stephens said in response to the hate. “This isn’t talked about enough, but it freaking sucks.” Stephens seems to find comfort in the support system that she does have and said she is “choosing positive vibes over negative ones.”
“I choose to show you guys happiness on here, but it’s not always smiles and roses.”
Following that, Stephens proceeded to show four more supportive messages she received from friends and family after the match. In one message coming from her Uncle Ronald, it said her “performances were solid” and told her to be “Proud of the matches you won and the fight/determination you showed.” In another message, she was commended for the way that she was “progressing.” The person further encouraged her to “get ready to win Indian Wells and finish the year strong and start preparing to win majors and come back and come back to top 10.”
Stephens is currently ranked at No. 66 in the Women’s Tennis Association and has won six WTA singles.