Not knowing Sachin Tendulkar can be damaging and Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova realised it the hard way when irate fans of the Indian batting legend stormed her facebook account with unpleasant comments for not recognising him.
The controversy started when the cricket icon was spotted in the royal box along with former England skipper Andrew Strauss and England soccer star David Beckham on Saturday and a reporter later asked Sharapova, “do you know who Sachin is”, to which she replied, “I don’t.”
For fanatical Tendulkar fans though, this was an insult they could not tolerate. They took to social media like crazy bees and over 50,000 comments were posted on the official Facebook page of Sharapova by Thursday afternoon.
“I was one of your biggest fans of you as a tennis star but now I will never see your matches”, was one of the milder posts as Sachin fans attacked her using incredulous, funny and demeaning language.
Others used foul languauge and made threats, while Twitter users took up the tongue-in-cheek #whoismariasharapova hashtag which began trending.
The most bizarre one showed Sachin Tendulkar touching the pitch and taking “it’s blessing” while Sharapova is shown stretching her right leg on the net. The text under the picture read —— “Dear Maria Sharapova this is Sachin Tendulkar who respects his sport. Learn something.”
“see this is sachin you idiot………Highest number of Runs scored in Tests [15,921] Highest number of Runs scored in ODIs [18,426] Highest number of Runs scored in International Matches….,” read one of the post.
“Say Sorry to Sachin Say Sorry to Sachin Say Sorry to Sachin Say Sorry to Sachin …,” was one fan’s reaction.
Tendulkar has been a regular in the royal box of the Wimbledon for over a decade. Swiss ace Roger Federer had also met Tendulkar, a few years back at the Wimbledon arena and had posted a picture of him with the legendary cricketer on his Twitter account to make the meeting public and an honour for the tennis star.
Amidst the furore though some Indians realised the excess of the reactions and one them posted, “Dear god you people, you disgust me. All of you thank you for defacing india and ruining all what sachin did. Great job guys you ruined his reputation and proved that we are all nothing but facebook terrorists.”
“please stop this my dear indians…what the hell is going on..just think what u r saying?..if she didnt know sachin its not her problem..its her personel matter..if she is not intrested in cricket obviously she wont know sachin…if she say anything b…,” another facebook comment said.
One Anuroop Chengot though tried to educate Sharapova with some personal information saying, ”….she know very much about tendulkar…pls find my timeline i have given her photo with tendulkar playing tennis with her…
Canon planned to make them both the brand ambassadors of their brand and sachin not signed in that contract because he has a deal with Airtel.”
Sharapova, who bowed out of Wimbledon after losing Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the pre-quarterfinals, has not reacted personally to the social media outrage on her comment.