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Rebecca Marino Leaves Professional Tennis: A Story of Cyber-Bullying

Updated on February 26, 2013

THE FACTS

“Despite the potential damage of cyber bullying, it is alarmingly common among adolescents and teens. According to Cyber bullying statistics from the -SAFE foundation:

  • Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online.
  • Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.
  • Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.

The Harford County Examiner reported similarly concerning cyber bullying statistics:

  • Around half of teens have been the victims of cyber bullying
  • Only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyber bully victim
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 cyber bullying incidents are reported to law enforcement
  • 1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras
  • About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others
  • Girls are somewhat more likely than boys to be involved in cyber bullying”

Those, my friends, are alarming statistics. True, all statistics can be manipulated to serve a purpose, but I think most of us see those figures and nod our heads in agreement.

But they are just statistics, right? Just words on the screen, somewhat meaningless unless we give a face to them.

Meet Rebecca Marino, ex-professional tennis player from Canada.

Rebecca Talks About Leaving Tennis

Rebecca Marino
Rebecca Marino | Source

THE REALITY OF THOSE STATISTICS

Ms. Marino recently retired from professional tennis at the age of 22. Lest you think she retired because she had no future in that demanding sport, be advised that at the time of her retirement she was ranked #38 in the world.

So why did this six-foot beauty and world-class athlete suddenly toss away years of training and sacrifice when she was in her athletic prime?

It seems that Rebecca has been the victim of cyber-bullying for quite a few years now, and the bullying led to a depression so bad that there were days she could not find the energy to get out of bed and get herself dressed.

“Why don’t you just die?”

“Why don’t you kill yourself?”

“You are so ugly!”

“You are a terrible player!”

“Go burn in hell!”

How long do you think you could battle those negative messages? Rebecca has battled depression now for six years, even taking a full year off of the tennis circuit to deal with the negative consequences of these attacks on her character.

Imagine all the years spent following your dream. You start swinging a tennis racket at an early age. You find joy in doing something well, and the thrill of competition flows through your blood. When you are a child you have visions of one day playing against the best in the world, and finally there you are in Center Court, and all of those long years of hard work have paid off, and you……..

have to give it all up because of the vileness of people who need an outlet for their frustrations and hatred.

Rebecca summed it up by saying, “You know, there’s that saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’ But that’s not true. Names definitely hurt. Words hurt."

Marino vs Williams

TIME TO WALK AWAY

There will be those who will say that Rebecca is being too sensitive. Ridiculous of course, but there is no shortage of ignorant people in the world. Rebecca was simply being human. How long can any of us receive demeaning, hateful messages before it affects us? How many times can we be called hurtful names before we begin to believe those lies?

As a teacher for many years, I can attest to the pain caused by bullying. I have seen kids reduced to tears and I have seen kids refuse to attend school because of the bullies who awaited them on the playground and in the classroom. Amazingly I have seen the parents of the bullies defend their children as “just being kids.”

Now we have a new form of bullying. We might call it the ultimate platform for cowards because cyber-bullying does not require the bully to face their victim. They can just anonymously spew hate and then go about their lives unscathed by their actions.

Do hateful remarks hurt less when delivered over the internet? Of course not! Bullying is bullying whether it is presented in person or through the relatively-safe platforms of Twitter or Facebook. Cyber-bullying is an attack on the character of another human being. There is no other way to describe it, and it causes damage and it must be recognized and stopped.

FOR REBECCA IT IS TOO LATE

Rebecca Marino has returned to her family in Vancouver, and she will be entering college to pursue a degree. Her depression is better now and she has a life ahead of her, but that life will not include professional tennis.

It would be simple to chalk one up in the win column for those cowards who ridiculed Rebecca, but the truth is that they are the losers in this story. Rebecca is surrounded by the love of her family, and she will go on and find new happiness outside of the tennis world. For those who felt the need to belittle her, though, there can be no true happiness for them.

You see, bullying is the act of an insecure, frightened human being who needs to cause suffering in order to hide the fact that they are miserable. With each new act of bullying, the hidden truth is further revealed, that in the heart and soul of a bully lies a deep pool of unhappiness and discontent. Bullying may temporarily mask this fact, but nothing will make it permanently go away.

Yes, Rebecca, you are only human, and as such this writer wishes you all the happiness that you deserve.

As for those who have tried to drag you down, I feel only sorrow.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful article and had no idea about this young girl's story. You are right though to say that this is definitely anew trend and something I saw when teaching. It is just such a shame that some people feel they need to resort to this level. Thanks for bringing this to others attention and have of course shared and voted up, too!!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      this is another story in an epidemic of very disturbed young people. Or perhaps they are crying out for attention. Or maybe they think this is funny..And not to mention the power they have ruining other's lives. There is something terribly wrong with our society today of entitled kids or neglected..Both are bad and are leading to really serious problems. If it had not been cyber bullying and other problems they would find a way. I do have one question, why didn't she just turn off her computer

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it is a case of the weak preying on the weaker, or survival of the fittest at a very human level. This sort of thing sickens me. I just wish I knew how to stop it.

      Thank you Janine; you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, she was actually asked that question and she had no logical reason other than curiosity. Still, this sort of thing is damaging and sick, and it does not reflect kindly on our society today.

      Thank you my friend.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      I think about this a lot. I mean, if you're on the internet and you're "putting yourself out there" - be it writing, artwork, photography - whatever, I feel like you can be subject to the whims of bullying. No one is immune. My hope is that I've built up a supportive network of individuals and I will be VERY LOUD if anyone tries to push me around and I can use that to my advantage. Rebecca's story is compelling. I loved playing tennis when I was younger but gave it up to pursue my other interests. It is a fun sport and I hate to see her have to walk away.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Frightening statistics which may or may shock many but they ARE frightening and very real the world over. This was an excellent case in point and angers me greatly that a girl passionate about her sport should receive such treatment by bullies. Bullying is something I had to deal with many years ago and it is a living nightmare for any who have been through it.

      Today the Internet is a scary place for the "new" wave of bullying. I see my young(teenager) nieces and nephew on fb in particular and it is always a thought going through my head.

      Thanks Bill for highlighting this case.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      What a waste!! And, you know, Bill, I heard those same words from parents ...o, they are just being kids...

      I have also heard from the parents who had children that are guilty of bullying and asked me what to do. Of course, we talked long and hard about what they could do. As you know there are no easy answers. Are there answers???

      Your words "... that in the heart and soul of a bully lies a deep pool of unhappiness and discontent. " And that unhappiness and discontent brings much sorrow and sadness to others.

      Important issue you have candidly shared...I hope this young woman goes on to find new dreams.

      Sending Angels to you and to her this morning...:) ps

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      It's really hard to take undue criticism especially in public life. I didn't know about Rebecca's case. Thanks for sharing this piece of information. One learns a lot.

      I always forget to tell you that, I do vote-up, click all the relevant compliments after reading your hubs. :-)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      This disturbing issue in today's society, should be a non-issue! By now, it would seem that we as a society would have matured and involved into a civilized one, where simply being a decent person is the norm, but sadly, of course, this is the world in which we live. This cyber-bullying has gotten so far out-of-hand no doubt! I saw on the news recently of a very sad story, too, about a woman who jumped off a bridge and killed herself on her birthday, due to the bullying on FB she received from her business partner! These are grown women. God help us all!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Peace! Faith Reaper

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderfully done. I am becoming more convinced that our schools must offer yearly classes in psychology, even at young ages. Understanding and knowledge are the only lights that can take the power of bullying away. Oh and we might get less bullies!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Most bullies are in fact being bullied themselves and do not see that their behavior is wrong. I have observed that it is more of a power issue than anything else. And what amazes me, in later years, most bullies either do not recall it, or just remember it as being funny.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, anyone who is in the public eye is susceptible to this behavior. That doesn't make it right but it is a reality. We will never rid the world of crazies. I saw her interview after she quit and she seems to be at peace with her decision so I hope the rest of her life is good.

      Thank you lil' Sis! I know you are super busy so I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, my Irish friend, I always smile when you appear. Thank you for that! As for cyber bullying, it is here to stay I am afraid, and there is very little we can do about it. Stand up to bullies and call them out for the cowards that they are....and then walk away and live our lives happily. Sounds simple, right? :)

      Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I don't know if there are answers. I have always leaned on the parenting as being the answer, but honestly I have known good parents, loving parents who had children grow up bullies for no apparent reason, so I just don't know the answer.

      Thank you as always. The angels arrived safely and hugs and blessings are winging their way to you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, I am very grateful for your loyalty, and thank you for voting every time. You are appreciated my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I am sure the example you gave happens more often than we know. Bullying is wrong and it can be vicious, and for it to reach the point where someone gives up their job or heaven forbid kills themselves, well.....it is just sad.

      Thank you dear lady; blessings to you today and always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I see nothing wrong with your suggestion. Something has to be done and those courses would prove valuable I would think. Thank you for the visit my friend. Let's just keep doing our thing and hopefully we can make a difference along the way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, you make a valid point and I have observed that as well. I have had the opportunity to watch some bullies that I taught in middle school go on to be fine adults and they don't even remember being a bully. Amazing but true.

      Thank you Nancy!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thank you for writing this Bill. I so hope Rebecca does not cave in to depression and the outside world. That is a VERY difficult age. 22 is about when kids are trying to become responsible adults. It can be a scary time for those who have never lived alone, or haven't experienced lots of the world. It's already so hard emotionally....just breaks my heart to see a beautiful girls hopes dashed by AH's!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      There is nothing worse than bullying is there??

      In any shape or form!!

      What a shame Rebecca lost out on being able to pursue her dream because of cruel cowards;because that is what every bully is;a great big coward!

      I hope she does well in whatever else she does in her life.

      Thanks again Billy for sharing a hub on this sad but oh so common subject.

      I vote up,across and share.

      Eddy.

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 4 years ago from Nevada

      Unfortunately even freedom of speech has its share of negative implications. Perhaps it is time to adopt some laws regarding online comments. In the past two years I have seen more hurtful, depressing, ignorant, mean, and outright hateful comments than I'd seen or heard in my entire collective life. Thankfully Hub Pages is an oasis of sorts.

      I must admit I've never really thought personally about the individuals on the receiving end until I read this article. As I get all of my news from the internet I see hateful ignorant comments daily. That is depressing enough without them directed at me personally at all.

      Bad enough that so many young ignorant individuals show such a lack of empathy but what really disturbs me the most is the number of supposedly "grown up" individuals with so much hate.

      My heart goes out to Rebecca. My wife and I have a close family member that has been dealing with depression for several years.

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Cyber-bullying, to me, is so much worse the the traditional kind of bullying we all grew up with, which is also horrid and inexcusable. In the cyber world, it never goes away. The humiliations remain forever tormenting the victim over and over every time they log in.

      I hope this brings attention to it and stops at least one bully.

      On a side note, I truly believe schools are in many ways further conditioning the bullying behavior. Examples of this are seen many times daily in schools all over the country. Where I have taught for over ten years, this school year I have seen a student physically and psychologically tormenting smaller boys. He does it daily. He gets away with it daily because he is special needs. An ODD label will beat a bullying accusation in an MDR (manifestation of disability review) meeting every time. Such meetings are required by law before discipline can be assigned. I contend this practice is conditioning an entire generation of children to be bullies.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Words hurt! As a victim of bullying in school, I feel for Rebecca. Whenever I hear about people being bullied, I'm always brought to tears because I know how much it hurts. People are overly vulnerable now with the internet and bullys snapping pictures with their cell phones - posting these snapshots with captions, urging prodding and poking. It's really difficult to get away from it, especially when bullys send a constant barrage of texts and posts. I hope Rebecca is able to recover completely from this episode in her life. Thank you sharing her story, keeping us all aware, and maybe inspiring more people to step in when they can to help victims of bullying.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, bullying is ugly. In some ways I think it's best to go through some bullying early in life. It makes us tougher and able to handle it better when we are adults. Like you I think it is a shame that a 22 year old has to fact this crap from some seriously unhappy people.

      Thanks my friend; it's always nice to see you at my little site.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, it is a sad commentary on society. There are so many of these cowards out there; you have faced them as have I. We are strong enough to handle it, but so many don't have the coping skills to do so.

      Thank you dear friend.

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      David, I am amazed daily at the number of hurtful comments I see on Facebook. For what purpose? Just to hurt others? Is that what it really comes down to? What a horrible way to go through life, looking for your next victim.

      Thanks buddy; I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poetvix, as usual you do not pull any punches. As you know, I taught for eighteen years, and I saw this kind of crap daily, and the reaction of the schools is one reason why I am no longer teaching. When the rights of the bully are more important than the rights of the bullied, then something is seriously wrong.

      I like the old days; take them out back behind the woodshed and solve the problem very quickly. :)

      Thank you my friend. I look forward to your next hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I'm right there with you. I grew up with bullying and we had no other option than to fight. Bullies will fall but they have to be confronted and stood up to. Sadly, many young kids do not have the coping skills to do that, and the system says that bullies have rights too. I happen to disagree with that.

      Thank you as always.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I had a fight with a boy on the playground once. For weeks, he would throw things at me, shoot spit balls, shoot rubber bands, flick me with his pencil, call me names, and other ugly things. Well, one day, this bully pulled my hair so hard it yanked my head back. I was so fed up I yelled out for him to stop. My outburst got me sent to the principal's office for speaking out of turn in class. The teacher could see all of the rubber bands around my desk, yet did nothing. Well... when I got back from the principal's office it was time for recess. The bully started up with me again. This time, he went so far as to push me because I kept walking away - ignoring him. After he pushed me, I socked him in the face. The kids gathered around yelling, "Fight, fight, fight, fight". It was a short fight, because when I socked him, he fell to the ground. And, when he got up he ran to the boy's bathroom. He never bothered me again. Ironically, he was now being teased for getting beat up by a girl. I'm 58 years old and I remember that day like it happened yesterday.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the enlightening me with this issue. Being a public profile is tough since all have many issues regarding that individual. Gotta be really strong to have an image in the public.

      I wish and pray this girl finds her ground and gets up again.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      You are correct, Billy, there's no shortage of ignorance in the world, and it's unfortunate people have to endure what comes of that ignorance, the hatred and violence. It's an unfortunate fact that bullying exists in so many places; work, family, school, and the Internet. Certainly a person is better off abandoning anything that subjects them to torment and harassment, and, as far I'm concerned, more should be done to prevent it and deal with it when it's happening in a true and effective way. Thanks for bringing this issue to light, important subject.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Why do people have to be so ugly? Words are powerful weapons that can literally break a person's spirit. With so many other words in the English language, or any language, why are the ugly ones chosen?

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this Billy. When I was in high school my best friend was a gay male. In my life there was a very early understanding of being the defender of children, teenagers and adults who are bullied. If you see or hear someone being victimized speak out. You cannot be tolerant with this issue. We can't allow parents to raise children to be so disrespectful and cruel. Those who bully as adults have major self-esteem issues. Thank you again for brining this to light. The more we talk about it the greater the compassion and empathy.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, this is really sad. A young woman in the prime of life doing what she loves and she has to give it up because of some idiots who have nothing better to do with their time. I have absolutely no patience for this kind of thing. Here in western Massachusetts we had two very unfortunate incidents where kids committed suicide because they were literally bullied to death. One of these cases, Phoebe Prince, received national attention. When my kids we're in school we had a situation where one of my kids was starting to get bullied. We dealt with it swiftly and with a lot of involvement from the school. We made it very clear that we would take the matter to the police, the kids parents, whatever it took to stop it. We were lucky in that it ended. Many kids are not so fortunate.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Kindred, you have raised awareness for a very important subject. Cyber-bullying is just one more symptom of our societal ills that cannot and must not be tolerated. How sad this story is. No one should have their dreams and talents silenced for these reasons. This young lady has a bright future bu that does not make her story any less tragic. Thank you for sharing her story and shining the light on this all too real problem. You did it skillfully and with tenderness in your heart. You did Rebecca and the others a real service in your special way.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great words to Rebecca, but sadly, the damage has been done. I was bullied, too, and the funny thing is, the kids that did it, don't even remember...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I remember those days clearly. Far too many days I had to fight after school to earn my respect. Bullies have been around seemingly forever and I don't see them going away anytime soon. Sad but true.

      Thanks for sharing that. If I were that guy I think I would change my name. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, being a public figure is almost like having a target strapped to your back. The crazies come out of the wordwork and take shots at you all the time. Very sad to see this sort of thing happening.

      Thank you for the visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nate, I don't have an answer for bullying. It is a part of society's fabric and always have been. Having said that , people must stand up to it and call it out of the shadows or it will continue to fester.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I do not have an answer for you. It has always been so and I see no end to it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LKMore, that is exactly why I write these articles. Bullying cannot be tolerated in any section of society, whether it be at school, at work, or on the internet. To ignore it is to give it power and I refuse to do that.

      Thank you for a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, thank you for sharing your personal experience. I believe that is exactly how it must be handled. Make such a stink and continue making a stink until it becomes impossible to ignore it any longer.

      Well done and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I hope so. This story infuriates me, but what else is new, right? LOL I hate bullies. I hated them in grade school and I hate them now, and how anyone can tolerate this kind of activity and not stand up to it is beyond me.

      Now I'm worked up again. LOL Thanks, Kindred!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I have heard that before in other cases. The bullies have no idea why anyone is upset with them over a past they do not remember....and yet all the damage has been done. Sad! Thank you!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      My heart goes out to this poor young woman. Cyberbullying is a horrible crime and nobody deserves to be tortured or defamed in such a cruel way. If I was her, I would NOT in any way shape or form give up my tennis career because of these jealous haters because this is exactly what they want to see her suffer and in pain. I would never give any of my haters the satisfaction! So what if she now starts college and studies a career and the same type of thing happens to her? If I were her, I would seek therapy with a good psychiatrist who can work with her and help work through the trauma. voting up awesome billy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, it is a tragedy quite frankly. In my opinion, some people are just too sensitive, and I don't mean that negatively. Some people are too gentle to make it through this world. Some people are too kind and too meek, and this life just chews those people up and spits them out. I wish it were not so.

      Thank you dear lady!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi billy, it just makes me so mad, the bullies think they have a right to ruin someones life. I do think jealousy sparks it off in the first place, someone has something that they need or want, without the work most of the time, but it does hurt. I was bullied terribly at school and know the feeling well, I just wish Rebecca could have turned off the pc, put her head up and carried on, not easy but it would have shown those bullies who was the strongest, I say this because looking back I know how it feels and I would never let it happen to me again, after my husband did what he did, I was ridiculed in the streets of my town, called names, picked on and laughed at. To start with I crumbled, but then somehow I fought back. wasn't easy though, voted up!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      I should have confronted my bully from the beginning, but since I am a writer, I wanted to maintain my professionalism and so I kept it clean. However, I did tell her to stop or I would take action. Unfortunately, she claimed to be from Australia. I had to close my account on wikinut because she kept spamming my page with defamatory statements about my character. Towards the very end, I pretty much told her to f. off!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, it is not easy for sure, but fighting back is the only way to face a bully! It is sick behavior on their part and it cannot be allowed to continue. Well done my friend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I will never understand that kind of person. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I sounds like you handled it perfectly. I have not had that experience yet and hope I don't. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      I heard about this story a few days ago, and thought it was very sad that the bullies won. Poor girl, one wonders about the depths of viciousness that exists in the hearts of so many. Prior to becoming a Hubber, I resisted the whole thing of Facebook and Twitter, etc. for this very reason. I felt there was just so much evil associated with it, and I didn't want to be a part of it.

      Well now the tables are turned on me. I find I know nothing about it, or the language associated with social media. I really don't even know how to post or link on FB, in spite of kind friends who have tried to help. So I muddle on, and hope that when I get into the apprenticeship program ( I have been accepted) I will learn more about it.

      Poor Rebecca, I wish you had been able to focus on your tennis, instead of fearing ugly bullying on a daily basis. You and we have missed out on so much promise. May you feel better soon.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      A very enlightening hub, billy. Such a shame, too, and I had no idea. What a crazy world we live in. Bullies seem to be taking over the world really; everywhere one turns. Hard for me to understand I guess; growing up a tomboy. People can hurt my feelings that I love but others bullying me I stand up to, but if you didn't have four brothers to fight with I can understand it might not be the same.

      ^

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, obviously I agree with everything you said. For a change, let me just say congratulations on the apprenticeship program. I'm sure you will do fine and come away much more savvy with the social media. :) Thank you and best of luck to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, you made a couple interesting statements there. For me, people can take their best shot at me, but bully someone I love and we have a whole new ballgame. :) I have no patience with bullying. Never have and never will.

      Thank you my friend!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is such a sad story, Bill. I hope that Rebecca has a happy future and can leave this difficult time behind her. It's a great shame that the bullies won.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I am reminded of my bullying days. Attention.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I hadn't heard of Rebecca's story, so sad that the bullies can just destroy someone's dream like that, and it's not just the young people doing the bullying. I have seen it in other forums, it only takes one to start and other are quick to jump on the bandwagon. There is always a leader and others follow like sheep. Many would not be as brave if they were not hiding behind their computers.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Takes the place of real bullying these days. Terrible scenario here and good to bring it up for parents to know.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Such a sad story. I watched her match with Williams, btw, my favorite sport. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. Great article Bill...

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 4 years ago from Minnesota

      This is so sad. I don't understand why people think it's okay to be so harsh to people, whether in real life or on the internet.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      I just hate to see a bully attempt to destroy someone else. I especially hate to see it when the bully has any success in the matter. I think a bully is a pathetic creature, plain and simple.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, it is a sad story, but she is a strong girl who is getting help and I am sure she is on the right path. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Martin! I was always on the receiving end of the bullies.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, you mention the pack mentality of bullies and I agree. It's like the Roman stage, cheering the lions on as the devour the Christians. Thanks for your comment. You are appreciated my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Midget, the internet has provided a safe forum for bullies today and yes, parents need to know. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! This story infuriated me, but then all bullying infuriates me. I appreciate your loyalty to me; you are a good person.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pink, I don't understand it either, but it is a reality that we all must face and stop whenever we see it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, we are in complete agreement. Maybe if we can raise awareness we can take baby steps to eliminate it in society. I don't know what else to do.

      Thank you my friend.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      The stats about bullying are scary and the effects it has are stifling indeed. Tennis has lost one of its promising players for sure. There should be a way to stop this menace.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Wow, that's scary. I didn't know about this tennis player at all, but I do know that cyber bullying has been increasing to drastic proportions. It's so easy for people to sit across the computer (who are probably more insecure or have bigger issues) and pick on someone else who they don't like, or who they're jealous of. I feel bad for Rebecca. That's awful. :(

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I don't know how you stop bullying. When possible you have to face it and call it what it is, but the internet makes that very difficult.

      Thank you as always my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, look at you! You are everywhere this morning. Thank you for the visits because I know how busy you are. As for cyber bullying, it is inexcusable but I know not how to stop it.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      I heard about this in the news and it made me angry because her bullies turned something she loved into something she disliked enough to walk away from because of the attention it brought to her. I cannot describe accurately enough how awful some of the things that were said to and about her are. Yet, this garbage goes on day in and out for children, teens, and adults, online and off. It's a great reason to make sure that you contribute to emotionally building someone up that you love or care about. There are just so many that delight in chipping other's self esteem away.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Express, as a former teacher and parent I have seen so much of this. I'm surprised that this story bothered me so much, but it did. You are right of course; we need to support our loved ones so they are strong enough to face attacks when they come. Thank you for a great comment and have a nice weekend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Bullying – whether one on one, or through cyberspace -- is one of the ignorant, cowardly acts in our society. I didn’t know that girls are more likely than boys to be involved in cyber bullying. That is a surprise.

      I once had and English teacher in high school who liked to belittle and bully some of her students in class as a joke. She thought it was funny, and a way for her to get attention. One day, she began to pick on a boy who was very shy. He turned beet red in embarrassment, and was obviously humiliated. I picked up a book on my desk and began to read it in an effort to completely ignore her. She caught my “disinterest” and asked me a question, which I ignored. She then asked if I was “ready to participate this class?” I said, “Are you ready to teach it?” A few of the kids laughed…she, however, didn’t think it was very funny. Her face turned deep crimson as she announced to the class that I was going to receive an F for the day. I transferred out of her class the following week.

      Excellent hub, Billy!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      It scares me to think that my daughter will be entering the cyber world in a few years to come. We are trying to hold it off as soon as possible! Amazingly every once in a while I see things like this among parents, fortunately not to this extent. Sometimes I wonder if it is not better to stay off of social networks, but then bullies will have won. Really important hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, good for you. I have had teachers like that, and I have taught with teachers like that, and it is inexcusable behavior on the part of an authority figure. No wonder we see so much of it in society today.

      Thank you for a wonderful comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I love your final comment...then the bullies will have won. These thugs need to be met head on and called out for what they are. Ignoring them sure doesn't work.

      Thank you for all the visits today. I hope you are well.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Wow, I had no idea she was experiencing such hatred and taunts. Many who are in the limelight have to suffer from the negativity of others who are inconsiderate. I hope she gains strength on her leave of absence and comes back a stronger athelete and person.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I think she has retired for good and I find that very sad.

      Thank you as always! I hope you are doing well.

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