Karen Carney has deleted her Twitter account three days after comments about Leeds – which were mocked by the club – sparked a wave of online abuse.
Carney claimed the Yorkshire club were promoted last season “because of Covid”, meaning that the pause in action due to the coronavirus pandemic allowed their players vital rest ahead of the Championship run-in.
The former England international, 33, was working as a pundit for Amazon Prime for their coverage of Leeds’ 5-0 victory at West Brom in the Premier League on Tuesday.
A clip of Carney speaking was tweeted by Leeds’ official Twitter account along with emojis and the caption “‘Promoted because of Covid’, Won the league by 10 points”.
This prompted an angry response from some fans and Carney received a barrage of abusive messages, many of them sexist in nature.
The following day Leeds issued a statement condemning the abuse but did not apologise for the tweet, which was not deleted.
On Friday, Carney’s own Twitter account was no longer active.
The PA news agency has approached her representatives for comment.
Carney, who earned 144 England caps in her career, said in the Amazon broadcast: “They (Leeds) outrun everyone and credit to them. My only concern would be, would they blow up at the end of the season?
“We saw that in the last couple of seasons and I actually think they got promoted because of Covid, in terms of it gave them a bit of respite.
“I don’t know whether they would have gone up if they didn’t have that break.”
The club’s actions were widely criticised, with Women in Football saying the tweet was “inciteful”. Former Leeds defender Rio Ferdinand branded it a “disgrace” that was “trying to embarrass a hard working pundit who will now be subject to vile abuse from LUFC fans”.
A Leeds statement said the club “completely condemns any abuse received by Karen Carney on social media” but owner Andrea Radrizzani defended the club’s right to criticise her comments.
Radrizzani, who himself retweeted the club’s tweet, said: “I take the responsibility of the club tweet. I consider that comment completely unnecessary and disrespectful to our club and particularly to the fantastic hard work of our players and coaches.”
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