Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome voiced himself in a YouTube video about the criticism many top athletes have to deal with. He hopes this makes everyone aware of the very high expectations of top athletes, and he invites people to think twice before posting accusations against top athletes online.
“I feel I have to agree on the mental health of the elite athletes. In the past few weeks, there has been a lot to do here, also during the Olympics (For example about Simone Biles, ed.), “Chris Froome begins. “Fan expectations of top athletes are sometimes almost out of this world, and not everyone can reach that level, especially when it comes to dealing with the emotions and criticism they have to put up with at times.”
Social media plays a major role in this, according to Froome. “More and more top athletes are struggling with their mental health, because of the open access that everyone has on social media. People can easily blame athletes from behind their screens, in a way that you wouldn’t if you bumped into that athlete in the supermarket, for example.”
“Being an athlete should be about being good at the sport you play, not being good at dealing with the criticism that comes with it. I would advise everyone to think twice before blaming the internet. We do our best when we represent our team or our country. That’s because the athletes are not doing their best, and many athletes are criticized anyway.”