LETTERS: Social media abuse of referees not acceptable

British Cycling’s Cycle Speedway Commission chairman, Graham Elliott has written to us regarding the abuse of officials, pertaining to the exclusion of Chris Timms in the world title run off a few weeks ago.

Here is Graham’s letter:

As you might be aware there has been a considerable amount of correspondence flying around, particularly within Social Media, with regard to the exclusion of Chris Timms in his ride off for the ICSF Men’s Individual Championship at Wednesfield on 9th August.

Whilst it is accepted that we live in an environment of free speech, and that it is part of the appeal of sport for such things to be the subject of discussion, it becomes unacceptable when the nature of this reduces to the level of personal abuse against individuals.

As all will be aware, the number of persons willing to volunteer to work as Referees and in other key roles in the sport is diminishing year by year. A major reason for this is the personal abuse received both during and post matches when things do not go the way of the abuser.

All those who resort to these tactics are asked to consider the long term effects of their actions.  The damage they cause to the sport both in terms of the retention of officials and for the overall image simply cannot be overstated.