Police are investigating online rape tweets from trolls against Jessica Ennis-Hill after she took a stance on whether Sheffield United re-signs Ched Evans.
The Olympian has said she would want her name removed from Bramall Lane if the club did sign convicted rapist Evans, who has controversially been allowed to train at the club this week.
Thousands of people have backed her position on Twitter, but she has also been subjected to foul-mouthed and abusive comments.
One shocking comment - which has been condemned by others including Sheffield United fans - said ‘I hope he rapes her’.
That tweet has been reported to police by Twitter users, who described the man who posted it as ‘scum’.
His account seems to now have been deleted.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “South Yorkshire Police can confirm they are investigating reports of abusive tweets.
“Officers are making efforts to contact the individual concerned, but have launched an investigation into the posts online.”
Evans, who is appealing against his conviction, has been allowed back to train at the club this week following a request from the Professional Footballers’ Association.
The move caused TV presenter Charlie Webster, pop star Dave Berry and Sheffield businesswoman Lindsay Graham to resign as patrons.
Some Evans’ supporters accused Jessica Ennis-Hill of speaking out as a ‘publicity stunt’, questioned why her name was on the away stand, called her ‘pathetic’, and launched offensive tirades online.
Roman Filipowicz said: “Some of the comments about Jessica Ennis make me ashamed to be male. And human.”
Liz Byrnes said: “Jess Ennis-Hill stands up for what she believes in. Now she gets online abuse. What happened to respect for different opinions?”
Many others spoke out in support of the heptathlete and mum - and Prime Minister David Cameron has also said: “I quite understand why she’s said what she’s said and done what’s she done.”
Sheri Williams said: “Couldn’t agree more with Jessica Ennis-Hill over this! Footballers are idolised by boys of all ages.”
Paul McCarthy-Brain said: “Historical violence against women should never be swept under the carpet. Jessica Ennis-Hill is right to make a stand and I support her.”
Jade Swift said: “Thank God she is giving the voice of rape victims the power back.
“Well done Jess, I can only hope others execute the same.”
And Stewart Cotterill said: “Good on Jessica Ennis for speaking out about Ched Evans.
“He doesn’t deserve to go back to the pampered world of top level football.”