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Thursday, September 07, 2023

“There is some extra anxiety”: How MLB handles security, increased threats

Ryan Walker wasn’t really prepared for the ugliness that can come with pro sports. The San Francisco Giants reliever was a 31st-round draft pick, never remotely high profile until he got to the majors.

It was then, after giving up a run in a Giants loss — a game he entered with the team already trailing — that Walker got threats on social media: “You deserve to die.”  “I’ll find your wife and kill her.” “I hope your wife never has a child.”

The next day, Walker’s wife, then pregnant with their first child, got similar threats.

“You look on Instagram, there are usually always a few people who are threatening you in some sort of a way, whether it’s you or your family or even your kids,”  Walker said. “It’s just pretty sad.

“There is some extra anxiety for sure. I don’t mind if it’s just towards me — I mean, it’s not fine, but you expect it. When someone comes after the family and kids, that’s not OK. And now you have it stuck in the back of your head like, ‘What if it really happens? ’ It’s not hard to get personal information about people these days.”

The Giants and Major League Baseball do not take such things lightly. Online threats are considered federal cyber crimes, particularly if made across state lines, and San Francisco’s Director of Team Security, Van Jackson, makes sure all are passed along to MLB Security and local authorities for potential prosecution.

The league then works with the major social-media companies to take action against users who make threats or send inappropriate messages, while MLB Security assesses if there is the threat of imminent harm and recommends any actions clubs might need to take for extra protection. In some cases, the FBI gets involved.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 07, 2023 at 04:36 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: security, social media



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