Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has been in the spotlight over the past 48 hours or so. After scoring an epic brace for Wales to lead the Welsh national team past Austria in a World Cup qualifier, he was lauded by many.
After the game, Bale said “I don’t need to send a message, it’s disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves”
Although we could guess who he was talking about, we now have confirmation. The Welshman issued a statement today on his social media to call out two publications in particular: The Daily Mail, and MARCA. The latter published an article this week calling him ‘the Welsh parasite’. The former, meanwhile, wrote an article which brought even more attention to it.
“The Daily Mail shining a light on this piece of slanderous, derogatory and speculative journalism by Marca,” Bale wrote on his social media. “At a time where people are taking their own lives because of the callousness and relentnesses of the media, I want to know, who is holding these journalists and the news outlets that allow them to write articles like this, accountable?
“Fortunately I have developed a thick skin during my time in the public spotlight, but that doesn’t mean articles like these don’t cause damage and upset personally and professionally at the receiving end of these malicious stories.
“I have witnessed the toll the media can take on peoples’ mental and physical health. The media expect superhuman performances from professional athletes and will be the first to celebrate with them when they deliver, yet instead of commiserating with them whey show an ounce of human error, they are torn to shreds instead, encouraging anger and disappointment in their fans.
“The everyday pressures on athletes is immense and it’s clear as day how negative media attention could easily send an already stressed athlete, or anybody in the public eye, over the edge.
“I hope that by the time our children are of an age where they are able to ingest news, journalism ethics and standards will have been enforced more stringently. So I want to use my platform to encourage change in the way we publicly talk about, and criticise people, simply for the most part, not meeting the often unrealistic expectations that are projected onto them.
“We all know who the real Parasite is!”