As amazing as the Internet is — it's why we have this job, and why you're reading this article, after all — every so often we're reminded that sometimes all it does is give people the opportunity to be idiots on a worldwide scale.
Kaitlyn Collins is a former Green Bay Packers cheerleader. She's also a real live human being with thoughts and feelings and emotions, something that didn't occur to commenters on the Chicago Bears Fan Facebook page.
On Monday night, that page ran a photo of Collins with the caption “Like If You Agree The Packers Have The Worst Cheerleaders In The NFL!”
The Bears fan page is a popular place, with 86,000-plus likes. You know the Bears-Packers rivalry runs deep, and thus, the comments got vicious in a hurry. In response, Collins made the following video, calling out not just the page but several commenters by name:
That video, a silent spool of signs, is well worth watching. "Cyberbullying" may seem like a media concoction or an overreaction, but to the people who have suffered the words of others, it's real and it's painful to the point of real damage.
Facebook apparently didn't agree that the post met its definition of cyberbullying, and so did not take the post down. But as the comments on the post softened and even chastised the very idea of such a cheap shot, the Fan Page decided to take down the post on its own.
"We did not see all the posts to take down the Cheerleader pic until today," the administrators of the page wrote on Thursday afternoon. "We get hundreds of messages per day and are not always on here. The issue has been resolved. Please respect one another and do not bully on this page."
Congratulations to Ms. Collins, who was a college student at the time she cheered, for taking a brave stand. (Don't think it's so brave? Put your own picture up and ask the world to judge.) There'll always be people who sling mud from behind screen names, but Collins did her team and her fanbase proud by standing up for herself.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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