Warrior Steph Curry One of Biggest Targets for Online Abuse: Analysis

Steph Curry

Getty Steph Curry reacts to a play in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Steph Curry is beloved by Golden State Warriors fans and popular across the NBA, but one new report found that social media is still a battleground for the two-time league MVP.

A new analysis found that he receives more online abuse than almost any other athlete in the world, the target of more than 10,000 angry and abusive messages on Twitter. The analysis found that the NBA’s top players often face a dark side of the internet, and Curry’s popularity doesn’t spare him from seeing ugly messages as well.

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Curry Fielding Abuse Online

The analysis, conducted by the betting and sports analysis site Pickwise, analyzed tweets to determine which athletes were the most frequent targets of abuse. As News 5 Cleveland noted, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was the top target by a significant margin, receiving 122,568 abusive messages. That was close to four times greater than the second person on the list, soccer star Marcus Rashford, who received 32,328 abusive messages. The analysis found that Curry ranked No. 9 on the list, receiving 11,203 abusive messages.

The site scraped data from Twitter for a 12-month period, starting in June 2020 and running through June 2021. Curry may have benefitted from some time out of the spotlight during that period, with the Warriors failing to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons. During the five-year stretch where he led the Warriors to the NBA Finals, Curry was often a trending topic on Twitter, receiving both praise for his play from fans and abuse from his detractors.

He remain out of the spotlight for the immediate future, turning down the chance to play for Team USA at the Olympics this summer.

The list also suggested that NBA stars may receive a disproportionate share of abuse compared to athletes from other American sports. There were four NBA players ranked in the top 10, with Damian Lillard and Kevin Durant joining James and Curry.

Curry Gets Plenty Of Love and Hate

Curry’s rank on the list of most abused athletes may come as a surprise to many who see the Warriors star as one of the league’s most well-liked stars. As Bleacher Report noted in a 2015 feature, other measures have shown him to be quite popular among fans of all teams. His Q-score — an advertising measure that looks at both how well-known and popular a public figure is — was 26 at the time, surpassed only by Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan, who had a score of 29.

Kris Stone, Under Armour’s pro basketball director of sports marketing, said at the time that Curry was seen as genuine and likable.

“I think people see through BS, and there’s no BS about Stephen,” Stone said.

Stone added that signing Curry to an endorsement deal had been a boon to the company, with revenues soaring almost immediately after he was signed. Total revenue grew from $299 million in 2013 to $413 million the following year. Footwear revenue grew from $55 million to $86 million in that same time period.

“It’s been about 50, 100 times more than we could’ve expected,” said Stone. “Things like this happen maybe once in a lifetime for a brand. His shoes are flying off the shelves right now.”

READ NEXT: Steph Curry Gets Honest About His Long-Term Future With the Warriors

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