Late Saturday evening, 29-year-old Spanish Bullfighter Victor Barrio became the first bullfighter to be killed in the ring in thirty years when a bull gored him to death. In the midst of the tragedy, which occurred during a live broadcast, the Spanish bullfighter’s Facebook page had to be taken down after it was flooded with trolls saying that the young man deserved to die.
Not since 1985 has the bullring seen the death of a professional matador but unfortunately Victor Barrio was caught off-guard in the midst of performing a manoeuvre with his cape that is known as the “muletazo.” The bull the matador was killed by weighed 1,166-pound and managed to gore Barrio twice, first catching him in the thigh, which knocked him down and then again through the chest. The bull’s horn penetrated through Barrio’s lung and aorta. The bull was chased away, but it was too late for the bullfighter — he is believed to have died almost immediately.
The vicious and tragic death was captured during the live stream of the bullfighting.
News of the bullfighter’s death quickly spread and even the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took the time to tweet his condolences, the English translation of which read, “My condolences to the family and colleagues of Victor Barrio, the deceased bullfighter this evening in Teruel. Rest in Peace.”
However, as the Telegraph reported, many persons did not see the matador’s death as tragedy but instead many critics of the bullfighting sport began to celebrate Barrio’s death. The bullfighter’s Facebook page became flooded with persons commenting that his death is nothing but “karma” since those who “live by the sword die by the sword.” The bullfighter’s death was called nothing but an occupational hazard.
The internet trolls commenting on the Barrio’s Facebook page were from countries around the world, including the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, all using extremely aggressive language which praised the actions of the bull whose name is Lorenzo. Many made it clear that their only sympathies were for the bull as they assumed that it had been killed for its part in the death of the matador, a fate which many bulls suffer for the bullfighting sport. Many persons even commented with the hopes that the bullfighting would see more deaths before the end of the sporting event.
The stream of commenters who found reason to celebrate the death of the Spanish bullfighter far eclipsed any words of condolences which were posted to the Facebook page. One user by the name of Machteld Huylebroeck wrote of their desire for Victor Barrio’s pain to continue even beyond his physical death, echoing others who stated that the bullfighter should burn in hell.
“May you be attacked by bulls all of your entire afterlife, so you forever feel the pain but can never die. Good riddance. Adios.”
Some persons who tried to express their grief on the Facebook page and stand with the family in their time of pain also found themselves as the target of the trolls. Unilad wrote that one person commented on Barrio’s Facebook page in Spanish that he could not find the words to express his sadness and then sent “hugs” for the family was responded to with an English comment which had no sympathies to give.
“I can help you with your missing words: Wonderful, Great, Super, KARMA.“
The Spanish bullfighter’s death is also putting renewed strength into the argument around whether or not the controversial and ancient tradition of bullfighting should be banned and several cities are said to be actively considering doing just that. It has been said that the authorities also find themselves debating if they should end the public financial support which is given to bullfighting.
Regardless of the stance about support for bullfighting as some persons attempted to point out, the family of Victor Barrio deserves to mourn the death of their loved one with respect. The personal attacks and hateful comments for the death of the man was highly unnecessary as Facebook user Aurora Gil wrote in Spanish to the page before it was taken down.
“I don’t think it is right what people are posting on this page. [Disagreeing] with bullfighting does not give them the right to insult a person, the deceased have to be respected.”
[Photo by Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP Images]