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Pundit Karen Carney deletes Twitter account after Leeds comments lead to abusive messages

Pundit and former England international Karen Carney has deleted her Twitter account after she received a wave of sexist abuse after being mocked by the Leeds United official account.

Analysing Leeds’ 5-0 win over West Brom on Tuesday, Carney complimented the club for what they had achieved but also suggested that they had benefitted from the coroanvirus break in March to earn promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.

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Carney, who has 144 international caps, said Leeds could “blow up at the end of the season” due to the hard-running approach instilled by head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Leeds posted a clip of Carney’s comments with the caption: “Promoted because of COVID” and “Won the league by 10 points.”

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The tweet prompted a wave of abusive comments aimed at Carney under the video with former Leeds captain Rio Ferdinand calling for the tweet to be deleted.

Friends of Carney’s told the Guardian that the abuse was getting “worse and worse,” with the majority of it sexist.

Others who have condemned Leeds for the tweet include USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe and Chelsea forward Bethany England.

“Atrocious behaviour by your social platform,” England wrote on Twitter. “Cyber bullying a female pundit and opening her up to mass online abuse for DOING HER JOB AND HAVING HER OPINION.”

The Women in Football network also responded to the tweet and posted: “Whether you agree with the comment or not, singling out and ridiculing an individual on an official club account is not what we’re here for.

“Karen Carney is a well-informed pundit. This tweet is inciteful and inappropriate.”

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Leeds have not deleted the tweet but said in a statement on Wednesday that they condemned the abuse she had received.

“Leeds United completely condemns any abuse received by Karen Carney on social media following last night’s Premier League game,” the statement read.

“Everyone at our club respects Karen greatly for all she has achieved in the game, as well as her work in the media and the charity work she undertakes.”

Despite the condemnation of the tweet, club chairman Andrea Radrizzani doubled down on the criticism.

“I take the responsibility of the club tweet,” he posted on Twitter. “I consider that comment completely unnecessary and disrespectful to our club and particularly to the fantastic hard work of our players and coaches whom were understanding on the pitch for the last two championship seasons by all stats.”

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