Social media overlords have been blasted as cruel after pouncing on ex-France, Arsenal and Man City star Samir Nasri for looking significantly heavier in a match weeks after his retirement.
Playing in a charity game at former club Marseille on Wednesday, playmaker Nasri – known for weaving through defenses with his diminutive 5ft9in frame during his colorful career as an elite midfielder – caught the eye of many fans with a noticeably bulked physique.
Some noted that Nasri, who commanded a fee of around $34 million when Premier League giants City signed him in 2011, had only officially declared his retirement in September, despite looking to have gained a large amount of weight beyond the athletic build he would have been expected to maintain as a professional at previous club Anderlecht.
Numerous accounts with vast numbers of followers asked if the portly player on the pitch really was the 41-cap international, while others made none-too-subtle digs about how the 34-year-old, a Premier League winner with City, had been “enjoying his retirement”.
What’s happened to Samir Nasri?👀🍗 pic.twitter.com/Ag2fL8zl7E
— PurelyFootball®️ (@PurelyFootball) October 13, 2021
Samir Nasri looked like he had a fat suit on no joke
— Nathan (@Nathan_2101) October 14, 2021
“Samir Nasri looked like he had a fat suit on – no joke,” jibed one supporter, having their say amid a landslide of lampooning for the unwitting target.
That has led to claims of body-shaming and even accusations that the influential accounts involved were paying scant regard to the familiar calls for kindness rather than criticism online.
“To all the big social media pages posting the picture of Samir Nasri – stop,” pleaded City and Sky Sports presenter Kyle Walker. “You know what you’re doing and it’s disgusting.
No way this is Samir Nasri 😌 pic.twitter.com/kjntu9z79c
— Elvis Tunde ➐ (@Tunnykvng) October 14, 2021
Looks like he swallowed Hazard😭
— M.uzzi (@MuziChilwane) October 13, 2021
“Don’t be using that to gain likes and comments on one hand and then be posting about how important people’s mental health is on the other.”
Weeks rarely pass without stories about online bullying by trolls and earnest reminders about the importance of emotional wellbeing.
Earlier this year, clubs and organizations including the English FA boycotted social media for three-and-a-half days to highlight the abuse that players frequently receive.
To all the big social media pages posting the picture of Samir Nasri, stop. You know what you’re doing and it’s disgusting! Don’t be using that to gain likes and comments on one hand and then be posting about how important people’s mental health is on the other.
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker115) October 13, 2021
What’s this obsession with #SamirNasri and his weight. So what if he’s put on a few pounds, he doesn’t play football and why the pressure to conform to a viewpoint of how one is supposed to look. Even now we judge people based on their weight without knowing the background.
— Hasan Patel (@Hasanpatel) October 14, 2021
“What’s this obsession with Samir Nasri and his weight?” asked one reporter. “So what if he’s put on a few pounds?
“He doesn’t play football and why the pressure to conform to a viewpoint of how one is supposed to look?
“Even now, we judge people based on their weight without knowing the background.”
The fatshaming that an ex professional footballer (Samir Nasri) faces on social media shows you the kind of world we live in holy fuck
— Chiran (@Chiran_jeev_) October 14, 2021
When did it start becoming acceptable to body shame…well, anyone? #SamirNasri
— Dion Daily Post (@Dion_DailyPost) October 14, 2021
Others asked whether it was “acceptable to body-shame anyone”. “The fat-shaming that an ex-professional footballer faces on social media shows you the kind of world we live in,” rued one.
Nasri, who also played for Sevilla, Antalyaspor and West Ham, made no mention of the controversy to his combined social media following of more than three million.
Supporters suggesting the player’s feelings could be hurt faced some accusations of a lack of good humor, and one health-conscious viewer retorted: “To be fair, the images are in the public domain.
Samir Nasri looks great. He’s retired and he’s smiling. Don’t be dicks.#SamirNasri
— S. Michael Baity (@BaitySean) October 14, 2021
“He played in a charity game looking like that. It should serve as an warning: when you stop playing, you need to take take better care of yourself.”
“He’s just enjoying himself,” said one observer who drew parallels between the images and heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury’s high-profile bygone weight gain amid his mental health crisis.
“There’s nothing really that crazy about it. The outlets that are reporting it are the same outlets that have been actively posting about Tyson Fury and him overcoming his battles with mental health. Ignorance is bliss.”
Anyone remember how this guy retirement went pic.twitter.com/MjNL9kss0q
— Brock Bower (@BrockBower2) October 14, 2021
To be fair the images are in the public domain, he played in a charity game looking like that. It should serve as an warning, when you stop playing you need to take take better care of yourself
— Gooner RichB (@GoonerRichB) October 13, 2021
In the end, some pointed out, Nasri could justifiably laugh at his keyboard-tapping detractors. “Samir Nasri looks great,” said one. “He’s retired and he’s smiling. Don’t be d*cks.”
Another warned: “This is a reminder to everyone trying to make fun of Samir Nasri: he’s still far more athletic than you. And wealthier.”
Unflattering comparisons were also drawn between Nasri and Didier Drogba, the Chelsea legend who scored a hat-trick to help a team of former Marseille stars beat a UNICEF team 7-4 at the Stade Velodrome.
The game was held to raise funds for the former Blues forward’s foundation in his native Ivory Coast. (RT)
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