YOU'D be forgiven for thinking this year couldn't be any crazier.
In Australia we've had devastating bushfires and a once-in-a-lifetime virus pandemic which has left us economically hurt and politically divided.
Footy hasn't been immune. Some fans have overstepped the mark and are sending racist, aggressive and just downright disgusting messages to players for a whole range of reasons.
Player abuse has been around for decades but it seems social media's rise has only added fuel to the fire.
It resurfaced this past weekend when a raft of AFL players from several clubs spoke out about the hate they'd received on the back of staging allegations in matches.
Reminding the Essendon fans that inboxed me that this is a game we play for fun.Dylan Grimes
Richmond defender Dylan Grimes received heavy criticism when he appeared to take a dive which denied Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti a goal in the Tigers' clash with Essendon on Saturday.
The extent of the abuse was revealed when Grimes spoke of death threats and suicide suggestions on an Instagram story later that evening.
"I apologise in advance for the swearing but this is ridiculous," he posted in an Instagram story.
"Death threats and suicide suggestions. Come on.
"Reminding the Essendon fans that inboxed me that this is a game we play for fun."
The following slides of the Instagram post highlighted the worst of the abuse. All included expletives and included fans questioning the toughness of players.
Grimes' teammate Nick Vlastuin also revealed he'd been on the end of fan angst, including a message in which he was called a "f---ing fairy".
Port Adelaide's Zak Butters and Fremantle's Caleb Serong also spoke out about abuse after playing on Saturday.
It's universally accepted in sport that's its good to be tough. Courage is celebrated, and kids are taught to play honest, hard footy.
There's nothing wrong with that. Footy is a physical game and requires players to both weather and give knocks to win the ball.
But as things stand, especially with Richmond coach Damien Hardwick's comments about David Schwarz crying in a losing grand final last week, it's getting a bit stupid.
With all the work professional athletes do for mental health, why is it acceptable for a coach to suggest a macho culture whereby men don't cry is acceptable?
Hardwick's comments are hypocritical to what his players are speaking out against.
Bullying and abuse just isn't OK, from fans, players or coaches.
You can't speak out against players shirking and call them weak or scared with expletives but support causes to remove the stigma surrounding mental health.
Fans need to sit back and heed Grimes' words - this is a game we play for fun.
While the passion of fans makes the sport what it is, those who tell a player to end his or her life are a scourge on our national sport.
Diving or staging isn't a pretty side of sport as it is entrenched in cheating and deceit - things Australians typically dislike.
But the reality is, even if Grimes did stage for a free kick, he doesn't deserve death threats.
He is paid a lot of money to play a sport and should be accountable but death threats and violence are never something somebody should endure in a workplace.
If it continues, will the time come when people are turned off playing sport professionally? Will the scrutiny become too much?
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