Soccer player Wayne Rooney, leaves Liverpool Womens Hospital with his wife Coleen and baby boy in Liverpool.
Soccer player Wayne Rooney, leaves Liverpool Womens Hospital with his wife Coleen and baby boy in Liverpool.

Twitter trolls target Rooney baby

By LAURA COX Time of article published May 24, 2013

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London - Once, his arrival would have been marked with a simple newspaper announcement.

Sadly for Klay Rooney, times have changed. His parents chose to share their joy at his birth on Tuesday on Twitter – and it didn’t take long for the internet trolls to respond.

Within hours of Wayne and Coleen Rooney’s announcement, bullies on the social networking site began attacking their choice of name, and even what he looked like.

They called the little boy “ugly” and “weird”, and described his name – understood to be a tribute to boxer Muhammad Ali, who was born Cassius Clay – as “s***” and “awful”.

An hour and a half after Klay was born, Rooney tweeted to his 6 million followers: “Our Beautiful Son, Klay Anthony Rooney was born at 2.11am, Weighing 7lb 11.1/2 oz. Both Klay and Coleen are fine… We’re all delighted!!”

A few minutes before that, his wife shared a similar message with her million followers, saying they were all “so happy”. The couple already have a three-year-old son, Kai.

On Tuesday afternoon the Manchester United footballer posted a photograph on his Twitter profile. The intimate portrait showed Rooney in hospital with his wife and two sons.

“Klay” soon began trending on Twitter, and the Rooneys received congratulations from celebrities including Lord Sugar and Ed Sheeran.

But other Twitter users were less kind. One wrote: “Wayne Rooney is such a chav, naming his kids ‘Kai’ and ‘Klay’,” while another posted: “Wayne Rooney naming his kid ‘Klay’ as if having a dad who looks like Shrek isn’t enough to get you bullied at school.”

Others made cruel jokes about the name. One tweeted: “The Rooneys’ new baby will apparently be called ‘Clay’. Wayne had wanted ‘Playdough’ but couldn’t spell it.”

Last night campaigners said the comments were “deeply hurtful”.

Siobhan Freegard, founder of website Net Mums, said: “Whatever your thoughts on the name, it’s sad to see trolls attacking it before the baby is even 24 hours old.

“Parents spend months selecting a name for their child and it will have a special meaning and resonance for them.

“It is deeply hurtful when someone attacks your choice, which is why some celebrities go to great lengths to keep their child’s name secret.

“Most celebrities are used to taking flak and understand it comes with the territory of being famous – but a newborn baby is not a valid target.”

Commenting on the reasons behind the name, a family friend said: “Wayne comes from a family of boxers and was quite good himself as a young boy.

“It runs in the blood and obviously Wayne idolises all the great heavyweight boxers. It seemed fitting given his interest in boxing that he should be called Klay as he (Muhammad Ali) is definitely one of Wayne’s all-time favourite sportsmen.

‘From what I hear Klay has got quite a punch already and is a very healthy, bouncing baby.”

Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he joined the Nation of Islam in 1964. – Daily Mail

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