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Gloucester's firm Danny Cipriani stance

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Gloucester take firm stance over social media abuse received by grieving Danny Cipriani

Gloucester CEO Lance Bradley has revealed the club will use its February 28 Gallagher Premiership home game versus Sale to raise awareness of mental health. 

The club have decided to act after star out-half Danny Cipriani copped social media abuse while grieving over the weekend death of ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack. 

Cipriani tweeted: “The media are f**ked. Never held accountable. They lie. Get away with it every time. People are so quick to read it and just throw nasty comments. She was a kind soul and didn’t deserve the way she was bullied.”

That tweet led to a number of negative reactions, including the following from a UK broadcast journalist. “You are truly pathetic Cipriani… Caroline Flack, a huge star, has died and a failed rugby playing little bum like you has decided to use her horrific death as a platform for your anti-media campaign. You didn’t get good stuff written about you because you weren’t very good.”

Responding to the accusation, Cipriani replied: “You couldn’t be more misguided. I don’t know who you are. I sincerely hope u get the love you never received. This has nothing to do with a game. I missed her call because of a f***king game. I’ve been up all night. Never cried this much. But I’m showing u it’s ok to be vulnerable.”

(Continue reading below…)

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This led to Gloucester CEO Bradley taking up the issue and rounding on the tweet accusing Cipriani of being pathetic. “This is a truly disgraceful tweet. It’s specifically targeted abuse of exactly the kind he purports to find so offensive. 

“Twitter has rules about this sort of abuse, and I have reported it to them on that basis. If you’re equally offended by it you can too.”

Since then, Bradley has decided Gloucester will raise awareness of mental health at their next home match. He told BBC Points West: “It [the idea] came about over the weekend with the terribly sad news about Caroline Flack, and obviously one of our players was very close to her, Danny Cipriani.

“I texted Danny over the weekend to make sure he was OK. We believe in looking after each other. He’s clearly very upset about it.

“We’re going to make our next home game a day on which we focus on mental health and we’ll do it in support of a mental health charity. We’re in the early stages of planning it. We haven’t decided exactly which charity but we’ll raise some money for them and raise some awareness of it.

“What’s important is that this won’t be a one-off game where we shine a light on something and then move on to something else,” he added. “This is going to become part of what we do.

“We try to look after all of our colleagues. There are some people who think social media means you can say what you like and that it doesn’t make any difference.

“I don’t think that’s true. It’s OK to be disappointed in a result. It’s OK to say you don’t think somebody is playing well. It’s not OK for personal criticism.

“They’re people too. They feel things. We all have an obligation to think about what we say and be kind to people.”

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Gloucester take firm stance over social media abuse received by grieving Danny Cipriani
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