Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has revealed he has received death threats on social media, at a time when referee Mike Dean has requested to be stood down due to ongoing abuse.
Dean and his family received death threats after two controversial refereeing decisions last week as Southampton’s Jan Bednarek and West Ham’s Tomas Soucek were sent off.
As a consequence, Dean has requested to be taken off Premier League refereeing duty this weekend, while players such as, but not limited to, Manchester United trio Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial have all been targets of racial abuse.
And now Bruce, who is battling relegation at Newcastle this season, has revealed he has also been targeted.
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“I just know that in conversations I’ve had with my family over the last few days, when we’ve been talking about the Mike Dean situation, it was brought to my attention that I’ve had it too,” Bruce said.
“It’s really horrible stuff, which I couldn’t really get my breath with. Things like someone saying they hope I die of Covid and all of this.
“I don’t go on it but of, course, people close to me do and they are sensitive towards their father and yes [there have been death threats]. Yep, I’ve had that to deal with too.”
Bruce is not on social media but his son, ex-footballer Alex Bruce, has shared the abusive messages he has received that are aimed at his father.
“Social media is a really powerful weapon for everyone concerned,” Bruce added. “The abuse that I’ve had – death threats and all this sort of stuff.
“When I see a referee having to come away from it because he’s made a mistake and people threatening him with his life – It’s obscene and totally ridiculous. They need to clamp down and police it better. We need to stop it basically.
“There are vulnerable people out there and it’s absolutely vile, some of it. It needs to stop.”