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Support Is a Two-Way Street

David Klein/Reuters

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For months, if not longer, Granit Xhaka will have heard the grumbles whenever he misplaces a pass. He cannot have failed to hear the groans when he shoots from range. He will have noticed the howls of rage when he concedes a free kick, or a penalty, or loses possession in the middle of the field.

He has heard all of that, and then he has gone home, and he has flicked open his social media accounts and been confronted with all of that wordless, inchoate abuse given form: strangers, anonymous and legion, wishing all manner of ills on him and his family because he has misplaced a pass or shot from range or lost possession.