VIDEO: I've had on line death threats over the years, says Sheffield Steelers' executive
David Simms, a long-standing club servant at Sheffield Steelers, has revealed he has been the target of death-threats onÂ the web.
The Elite League ice hockey club has taken a fair amount of on line criticism after failing to land a trophy in season 2017-18.But Simms says, personally, he has had to develop broad shoulders to deal with almost all levels of abuse from keyboard warriors."I had had death threats" said Simms, who has frequently courted controversy and sometimes admits stepping over the line."I have had animosity on social media on forums, for 20 years in different way, shapes and form. It's water off aduck's back. Over the years I have built up a few people who don't share my views, shall we say."If anything does go wrong, or is perceived to be going wrong, some people in certain quarters find it an easy way to attack" said the Steelers' executive and rink announcer."Most of them of course don't put their real names (on line,) most of them hide behind a user name."I have a hate-hate relationship with lots of them. It doesn't really bother me."
Simms didn't specify when he's received the threats but reflected: "It used to bother me a lot, when I used to see something on a forum or on a social media platform."I think the vast majority of the people know that everybody at the club works blooming hard, 24 hours a day seven days a week, and does the right thing."We help lots of groups, lots of people, fulfil lots of dreams and a few people who we have crossed paths with before have got a vengeance.
"Social media gives people a voice...and not everybody deserves that voice but they all get it" he claimed.Asked again about the level of abuse her had received, the ice hockey man, who is an estate agent when he's not representing Steelers, said: "Oh God, I've had death threats, over the years, off loads of people."You have lots of different people who at 'ridiculous o'clock' at night, when they have got their first half a shandyinside them, have said different things at different times."And you take not a blind bit of notice of a lot of it.Simms said those who recognised the work ethic behind running a club like Steelers knew the reality of what the organisation is really all about.
*The Birmingham-based Steeler was reprimanded by his own club 13 months ago after making remarks construed as homophobic.
They challenged his views came after the club was contacted by Sheffield Council and SIV. Simms later apologised.
**A death threat is a criminal offence. The Stop Online Abuse site offers help to people facing online harassment and other forms of severe abuse. It provides legal advice and practical tips on how to respond to derogatory and abusive comments online.