Deta Hedman revealed that she was the target of online abuse after defeat in the BDO World Championship first round.

The racist slur was sent to Hedman in an email following her Lakeside loss to Maria O’Brien. The BDO veteran shared news of the online attack with the Daily Mirror. She added that it was not her first experience of racially charged comments.

“Racism in sport is still there. It never went away, believe you me,” said the four-time major winner.

“One prime example: I was in the Czech Republic. A person with an English accent actually went, ‘I didn’t know they trained a monkey to play darts’.”

Heart of Darts

Hedman, the Heart of Darts, is one of the most popular figures in the game. The Kingston-born thrower has lived in the UK since 1973, and has been part of the darting scene for more than 30 years. Among myriad trophies won during her career are two Finder Darts Masters and two World Masters titles. She is also widely renowned for her charity work and punditry. Yet her account of the abuse suffered after leaving Frimley Green underlines the bigotry she has faced.

“This latest message came through after I lost my match on Sunday. I didn’t do a TV interview because I was really quite mad at myself for playing not so well,” the 59-year-old explained.

“Afterwards I had a look at my phone to see if there were any messages and there was an email saying, ‘Go kill yourself you f****** ugly n*****, you’re a disgrace to darts’.

Widespread support

The contact has been forwarded to the police, and since the news of the abuse was shared there has been an outpouring of support for the Witham-based star. Hedman was thankful for the backing of a majority of darts fans, which had been noticed even prior to the incident.

“What got me, not in a bad way, was reading nice comments on social media,” Hedman revealed.

“They made me cry more than what that guy said. He’s just one idiot.

“But I was sat at work and the tears were flooding with the kind comments from people.”

David Gill/DG Media

Photo: David Gill/DG Media

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Author: Ed McCosh