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Social media hatred for KC Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and his fiancée is the worst of us

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has landed in the firestorm of two controversies this week, and here’s a list of his known activities over the past few days:

He served as honorary captain of the first HBCU Legacy Bowl Saturday, and he sat courtside with his fiancée for a college basketball game at his alma mater earlier in the week.

Still, on Wednesday night, Mahomes felt compelled to affirm that, yes, he does in fact love the woman he plans to marry. And then, on Friday, he dismissed a report suggesting he had told him (and his younger brother, Jackson) that they could no longer attend Chiefs games.

“You just do stuff these days,” Mahomes wrote on Twitter.

If it was me, I wouldn’t have tackled the stories at all. I’d give them the time this kind of “journalism” deserves – none – but it’s easy for me to say I’m diving into a 900-word column about it all.

Except that this column is not really about Patrick Mahomes. Or his fiancée and high school sweetheart, Brittany Matthews.

It’s about the rest of us.

After an interaction between the couple at the Texas Tech basketball game, a popular website took to Twitter to ask if Mahomes needed intervention because of who he chose to spend his life with. The site’s tweet included links to stories about Mahomes and Matthews and generated nearly 60,000 likes and 8,000 retweets.

An intervention ?

Who has the addiction here?

Later that week, a ‘reporter’ reported that Mahomes had ruled out both his brother and Matthews from attending Chiefs games, only to retract everything later, long after the move was applauded by those unfamiliar. none of the three.

This is not a new topic, but rather a favorite talking point of some publications and social media dunces trying to accomplish, well, what exactly?

They demand that Mahomes choose someone other than the person he started dating in his sophomore year of high school. It should be a great story, really – it’s their adventure together, and despite signing a contract that will earn him half a billion dollars, he’s stuck with the woman who stayed with him.

Oh, but they don’t like his personality, they’ll say. She is too loud for the preference of those who cannot handle outspoken women. Too brash for some. Most appalling, not appealing enough to others – people are brave enough to comment on his physical appearance while hidden behind the security of an iPhone screen protector.

I could find the Tweets – dig up the receipts – but many of the best examples are too disgusting to post. I could plead for it to stop, but those willing to dump strangers on social media aren’t the type to have an open mind.

If Mahomes and Matthews weren’t famous — if his occupation didn’t put him in front of millions every fall Sunday — we’d call it what it is.


What, because he’s making millions, he deserves to endure weeks like this? ‘Cause he makes millions, she Deserves that? Is this part of the concert? We’d all be constantly bullied if it meant winning $500 million, right?

There is nothing in their fortune that is not earned.

The nature of what they encounter on social media is precisely that.

She’s not perfect. Neither is he. Me neither, and neither do you. Yes, I know Matthews celebrated a Chiefs playoff victory by spraying champagne on the fans below her. She posted messages on social media that angered some. I didn’t like the champagne spray. But most of the time, I didn’t care. My day went the same way. Yours too. And so did those who got a little wet – because they weren’t the ones who complained in the first place.

Some use this very example as a reason to dislike Matthews. It’s backwards. She provided ammunition for a conclusion they reached long ago.

Their reminders that she caused this on herself are relentless, as if finding something boring should trigger a lifetime of online bullying. That this happens to other athletes, to other public figures, is not a justification.

It’s indicative of the greater toxicity of social media, of course, a culture that allows so many people to say so many things they wouldn’t dare to say in person.

Years ago, after playing in the World Cup, then-Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler said he received death threats on social media. Former Royals pitcher Danny Duffy quit Twitter – twice – because of the loud and vocal minority, despite the reason he joined was to promote a charity fighting childhood cancer , Noah’s Bandage Project.

What are we doing here? I understand this is part of social media, but is it required? We just accepted it like the broccoli you have to digest with dinner?

Matthews doesn’t need a sports columnist to defend her. I don’t know her personally. I haven’t met her.

But that’s the point. Neither does the overwhelming majority who continue to fill their timeline with intentional negativity.

It’s not a defense of one person so much as an appeal for something much simpler.

Human decency.

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