Inter Miami striker Gonzalo Higuain said in an interview with ESPN that fans’ abuse and insults and bullying “kill lives”.
Higuain faced heavy criticism while playing for Argentina and was part of a team that lost three consecutive finals from 2014-2016.
The striker retired from international duty in 2018, saying the decision would be “to the delight of many” in his home country. And the 34-year-old former Real Madrid, Juventus and Napoli player said he was no longer prepared to turn the other cheek to criticism.
“We have to be more aware of the harm that insults can cause, because sometimes it’s irreparable and people don’t realize it,” Higuain told ESPN.
“I put my head down for 15 years in the face of insults, and they never said anything to me in person, and I’m not going to put up with keeping my head down.
“Why don’t we have the right to react? Why does an unpopular person have the right to do so? Because we play football – some make a lot of money, others don’t, we all deserve respect.
“If you’re going to criticize me, accept the answer, if not, don’t criticize me, accept that I’m going to answer, I’m tired of shutting up and not responding to insults. If it happens in person. , I’m not going to tolerate any disrespect in front of my family.”
Higuain said the birth of his daughter helped erase the shame, but added that many people don’t appreciate the struggles he went through.
“People don’t realize that you have three setbacks with Argentina, my mother dies, and on top of that they put you through insults,” Higuain added.
“At the moment it affects me, and over time I don’t see it that way, but we have to pay attention to it because it creates almost irreparable damage.
“What angers me about memes is that they’ve become normalized, something as common as going to the supermarket that causes irreparable damage. Something that says lives have become normal.”