'Disgusting' - Alex Bruce opens up on 'brutal' online abuse directed at his dad Newcastle United boss Steve
The 36-year-old, son of Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce, was a guest on Jim White’s talkSPORT show on Friday morning, and gave an honest account of the “disgusting” rhetoric which he and his family often have to deal with.
Speaking in a press conference on Thursday, the Toon boss gave a frank indication of the level of abuse that he is subjected to, and Alex admitted during an interview with White that he was unaware his dad was going to approach the matter in the public sphere.
The former Hull City defender said: “It was the stuff with Mike Dean actually, which we saw the other night, and we were having a conversation about it.
"It was just brought up, ‘Well, the levels of abuse you get online, dad, through myself or through my sister, some of the stuff that’s said about you is disgusting.’
"It went from there, really.”
He added: “It’s disgusting, I have to be honest.
"I’m not really one of those who preaches about stuff or moans about stuff. As a family, to be fair, like most people, we just want to get on with it.
"We get levels of abuse, like what he gets online, and it can be disgusting.
“It’s happened for so many years now, when he’s in the public eye and managing like he is, it becomes normal. I know it’s wrong to say that, but it’s just the norm.
"I know that if his team get beat on a Saturday, he’s going to get abuse, and he’s going to get stick online or on social media.
“Honestly, some of the stuff is brutal.
"I think as bad as I’ve seen recently is, ‘Your dad’s a [bleep], I hope he dies of Covid’. That’s probably as bad as it gets, but to those levels, that’s the kind of stuff you get on a regular basis.
"And we’re not talking about one or two. It’s disgusting.
"I regularly sit with my wife and sometimes it’s difficult. You laugh at some of the stuff because if you didn’t, what else can you do? How do you police this kind of stuff?
"You see other people coming out – I saw [Manchester United defender] Axel Tuanzabe the other day, a young lad coming on in a football match, making a mistake, getting racially abused.
"You just think, it’s so easy for an idiot to sit behind a computer or a phone and abuse someone. It’s just not right."
Bruce went on to add that he and his dad have become de-sensitised to the constant torrent of abuse.
He said: “He [Steve Bruce] brushes it off. I have to say, I brush it off as well.
"It’s just something, unfortunately, that you get used to – and I’m not just talking about me. I’m sure loads of people in the public eye [put up with abuse], whether it’s a sporting person or someone on the tele.
"I’m not the only one who’s got experience of abuse, and my dad’s certainly not.
"We all see it, it’s just being highlighted at the moment, and I think with what he’s said yesterday, everyone’s had enough of it, and he’s spoke out.”