A 47-year-old Englishwoman has seen the best and worst that Twitter would have to offer the American football player who shares her name.
Dee Ford, of Kent, England, told the Kansas City Star that her “phone was going off literally nonstop” due to angry tweets from Kansas City Chiefs fans who thought they were venting at linebacker Dee Ford following his critical late penalty in last weekend’s AFC championship loss to the New England Patriots.
The more famous Ford was lined up offside on a critical play late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, negating an interception that would have sealed Kansas City’s first trip to the Super Bowl in 50 years and prompting the wrath of fans on social media. Tweets directed at Ford included “how the [expletive] do you sleep at night” and “you ruined my whole year”.
She says Ford “doesn’t deserve” the vitriol.
“The phone was going off literally nonstop,” she told the newspaper. “Some of the things were quite vicious. The things they’re saying, he doesn’t deserve it.”
The player isn’t on Twitter, but he was no stranger to the Englishwoman. Five years ago, when the player was still at Auburn, someone in the school’s athletic department tagged the woman in a congratulatory tweet after the player was named most valuable player of the senior bowl. Fans responded with their own positive tweets.
She decided to learn about the game and was hooked. She has spoken to the Chiefs’ Dee Ford by phone and attended an Auburn home game last fall and a Chiefs game in London in 2015.
“He’s genuinely one of the nicest people,” she said. “He’s always been good about this. He’s a really humble young man.”