An off-hand Tweet about footballer Gareth Bale by rugby pundit Stuart Barnes has enraged Twitter. It was revealed today that the Real Madrid striker has donated £500,000 to the NHS in their fight against COVID-19, a move widely applauded across the platform.

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Bale donated the sum to the official charity of the University Hospital of Wales – the hospital where he was born.

Barnes however elicited a tidal wave of Twitter acrimony by simply suggesting that the donation equated to a relatively small amount of Bale’s salary.

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Bale is said to earn in the region of £350,000 per week after tax, and Barnes said: “That is a great gesture. But what does he earn compared to the average salary in the United Kingdom and how does that translate?”

It didn’t take long for Twitter to start dogpiling on the former England 10.

One Twitter user posted: “A little snide… What do you earn compared to the average salary in the UK? Have you donated two weeks’ wages?”, while another said: “What a horrible reply. He doesnt benefit from doing it, he’s helping countless strangers by donating 500,000 more pounds than he had to.”

While some supported Barnes, the majority took him to task for what many perceived as a needless and mean spirited Tweet.

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It’s not the first time Barnes has triggered the ire of Twitter for his position on a Welsh superstar. In 2018 following Sam Warburton’s retirement from rugby, a move that took the global rugby community by surprise, Barnes was one of the first to react.

After offering his condolences and congratulations to Warburton, Barnes dropped something of a Twitter bomb. “You could knock his game but he understood it was okay as long as the stick wasn’t personal and it could never be that as he is such a decent man. Great player? No. Great influence? Definitely”

“I am not courting popularity. The day I do is the day I stop being me. Honestly, do you think SW would be offended because someone doesn’t think him great?” he later Tweeted.

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