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"I get messages, 'It's an awful shame you don't break both your legs.'" | Davy Russell on abuse

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

18:32 27 Dec 2019

Davy Russell joined Friday Night Racing for its last incarnation of 2019 and discussed how he deals with the abuse that comes with being a high-profile sports star.  

The Cork jockey, who rode Tiger Roll to victory in the last two Grand Nationals at Aintree, has had a career of great success but has never been immune from criticism or vitriolic abuse.

While many would argue the rise of social media has exacerbated the issue of abuse on sports stars and celebrities, Russell says it is something he has actually handled better with age.

"It's easier. Please don't get me wrong; I don't mean I don't care. Of course, I care what people think. They are very important but the people I care about are the owners and the trainers and the network of people around," Russell told Ger Gilroy and Johnny Ward.

"And then there are people who I think are excellent race readers. Now, they may never have touched or raced a horse in their life but they just have an uncanny knack of reading a race that I would respect.

"That's the way life is. And after that then if unfortunately there's money lost that's fine but I felt at the time that they were the cards I was dealt so they were the cards I played."

Returning to the idea of social media, while the hate-filled messages come in, Russell says he can take more positives than negatives from the platform.
"It's a good thing because I tell you I have fun on it. You come across some very interesting people, you come across some very funny videos like the two boys bating each other with the helmets, it's priceless.
"Now OK, I get fellas writing me messages, 'It's an awful shame you don't break both your legs.' But you know, that's a fool. That's a very poor person and way of thinking and he probably has other issues that I don't need to be getting into. I just don't get into that.
"I understand people can get irate... but we run a charity event in Newbridge for cancer and without the likes of Twitter for that... it comes into itself of course. I'm not going to knock twitter, it's just individuals."
You can watch this week's full Friday Night Racing with Davy Russell here.

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