Club rivalry led to Tade Twitter abuse

Gregory Tade
Gregory Tade
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FORMER Raith star Gregory Tade was racially abused on Twitter by a drunken teenager because of the rivalry between Rovers and Dunfermline Athletic.

Mark Chalmers (16), Leighton Street, High Valleyfield, told the Inverness Caledonian Thistle striker he was “black and s***e at football” and should “give up life”.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard on May 16 that the French forward received the message on the social networking site after he had wished football fans a Happy New Year.

Tade (25) intended to let it lie despite being shocked by the message.

Angry

However, police were contacted by a number of angry football fans from clubs across Scotland and also by SFA chief executive Stewart Regan.

Suzannah Hutchison, prosecuting, said: “Mr Tade is a professional footballer and has a personal Twitter site. On January 1 he posted to his 700 followers wishing them a Happy New Year.

“At around 11.45 the next morning he noticed he’d received a message and was shocked by it and considered it to be racially aggravated.

“A number of his followers sent him messages saying he should contact police.”

Tade then wrote on his site: “Sad to see people like @markchalmers using Twitter for a bad purpose.

“Let’s move on. 2012 has started and my resolution will be not to bother about people like @markchalmers.”

Chalmers then tweeted Tade saying: “Sorry for what I called you earlier.

I won’t be the first or last but still it was shocking and again, I’m sorry.”

Tade replied: “Whatever mate. It’s easy to say stuff like that and apologise for it later. I hope you’ve learnt a lesson.”

Tade was contacted by police and admitted he would like to make a complaint. Police then spoke to Chalmers.

The depute fiscal said: “He told police he had been at a party and had 10 cans of beer. He said he was very drunk when he left the message.

“He said he was physically sick the next morning when he realised what he’d done. He received more than 200 angry responses on Twitter and appreciates the anger he caused.”

Chalmers pleaded guilty that on January 1 he sent a racially abusive message to Gregory Tade over Twitter.

Alistair MacLeod, defending, said Chalmers had been attending a family party to celebrate the New Year the night he left the message.

He said: “He is not a regular drinker and believes he wouldn’t have behaved this way if he hadn’t been drinking.

Rivalry

“Mr Tade is a former Raith Rovers player and my client had been discussing the rivalry between Raith and Dunfermline with a friend on Twitter, which prompted him to make the comment to the player.

“My client accepts his behaviour is in no way acceptable and is extremely ashamed by what he’s done.

Sheriff Fiona Tait ordered Chalmers to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

She said: “Despite what you may say, this had nothing to do with football. This was a racial remark, which the court takes a very serious view of.”

Tade, who finished as Inverness’ top goalscorer, received a number of messages of support from fans, fellow players and official bodies at the time of the incident.