Wives of San Diego Padres Players Fight Back After Receiving Hateful Messages on Social Media

Professional athletes in the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL are accustomed to hearing fans chant their [...]

Professional athletes in the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL are accustomed to hearing fans chant their names, ask for selfies, and wear their jerseys on a regular basis. Stars such as Tom Brady and Aaron Judge are beloved figures in their respective cities and receive positive attention on a regular basis. Unfortunately for these athletes, there is a different side of the spectrum that they must deal with on a regular basis.

Many of these front-facing figures have received toxic messages on social media, including death threats to them and their families. Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills experienced this after criticizing the team owner's support of Donald Trump, but he is far from the only one. The wives and girlfriends of the San Diego Padres' players, for example, have been receiving hateful messages, and now they are fighting back, per The San Diego Union-Tribune.

"Cool to be kind is a hashtag we started as the Padres wives," Ashley Yates, the wife of Kirby Yates, said, "and that is a movement, I guess, we try and start to embrace positivity and show it in our social media platforms."

As Courtnee Renfroe, the wife of Hunter Renfroe, said, Yates was the one who started the movement. She was one of many that received hateful messages on social media and initially responded with feelings of anger. However, she wanted to spread positivity, so she came up with the hashtag and emailed it to her fellow wives and girlfriends.

When the movement began, they started using the hashtag to highlight the fans and individuals that had made a positive impact on their lives, as well as those on the Padres roster and in the front office. Anyone that was spreading love, joy, and positivity was showcased on social media, which immediately began drawing attention.

"A lot of girls jumped on board and then their husbands jumped on board, and we actually had people from the St. Louis Cardinals and fans that reposted," Yates continued. "For me, it was kind of exciting and different, and it was a good way to shine a light on how many great people there are involved in baseball."

As Renfroe explained, it's impossible to tell what is going through the mind of a complete stranger in this day and age, especially when they are hidden behind a screen. She tries to act "big and bad" in response to the hateful messages, but it's easy to become scared, especially after receiving multiple death threats.

Fortunately, she – and the other wives and girlfriends of the Padres – are focusing on being the bigger person and spreading kindness. The world is a hateful place right now, but they are trying to make a positive and lasting difference.