At its best, football can be a unifying experience, boasting a sense of community few other sports can match.
At its worst, the tribal nature can be toxic.
Indeed, online abuse is, sadly, one of the major motifs of the modern game. Without wanting to desensitise it and the frankly abhorrent abuse many players are bombarded with for all manner of reasons, there’s no getting away from the fact that – depressingly – it’s expected.
That was the case again following Harvey Elliott’s awful injury.
The distressing scenes clearly upset Jurgen Klopp who looked emotional during a post-match press conference and, after such a promising start to the campaign, it’s a horrible thing for the former Fulham youngster to go through.
What won’t help the situation is abuse.
One individual, who appeared to support bitter rivals Manchester United, commented on the player’s social media post, saying: “He’s not walking like that anymore.”
Elliott, however, was seemingly in no mood to listen to such tripe.
In response, the teenager said: “Crazy though how I have more legs than United have trophies in the past 8 years x.”
Quite the quick-witted response and indicative of how footballers are looking to fight back against the negative comments that so often come their way.
Of course, no one should feel obliged to respond and even entertain such nonsense for even a few seconds, particularly given just how vile some of the comments are. Furthermore, it’s important not to compare any kind of reaction, given the myriad of reasons social media trolls appear to find in an attempt to abuse players.
Still, Elliott’s chosen response is likely to go down well amongst a Liverpool support who already seemed to be enamored with him.