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Panthers OT Matt Kalil: Fans drove me off Twitter

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Former Vikings offensive tackle Matt Kalil was reunited with his brother, Panthers center Ryan, in free agency this offseason. But he arrived in his new destination without a Twitter account.

"After playing in Minnesota, I just got rid of my Twitter," Matt said Wednesday on The Rich Eisen Show. "I was harassed left and right."

Added Ryan: "This is not good intel for fans, but players read this stuff. Oh they read all of it. They try and act like they don't, but they read it all. Like, if I was a fan of an opposing team, I'd just be tweeting at a guy to get in his head all week. All week long."

Ryan was saying this in good humor, though we kind of wish he didn't. Fans looking to get involved in the game by pulling fire alarms or waging psychological warfare on social media are precisely what is wrong with the current player-fan relationship. The vitriol these athletes receive, couched in the lazy excuse that they make millions of dollars and I buy a ticket is pretty reprehensible. I cannot imagine what kind of person has the time to drive a grown man -- an offensive lineman no less -- off Twitter. Even the most sensitive NFL players need a good push.

Both Matt and Ryan jokingly bandied about the idea of leveraging their situation for social media branding opportunities, but unless Matt branches out beyond his family members-only Instagram account, it sounds like that possibility is all but gone.

We won't weep for that, but we do hope that slowly the NFL trolls can redirect their frustrations. Ryan is a solid follow on Twitter, and bringing back Matt could give us more of this:

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