(Reuters) - Former England women's international and television pundit Karen Carney has deleted her Twitter account after her remarks about Leeds United were ridiculed by the Premier League club's official account and led to a torrent of online abuse.
Carney, 33, had suggested on Amazon Prime during Leeds' 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday that last season's COVID-19 shutdown had helped Leeds secure promotion.
She had said Leeds ran the risk of losing steam at the end of last season because of their high-tempo style of play and the COVID-19 shutdown in March gave the club some respite before the season resumed three months later.
Leeds tweeted with emojis along with a television clip of Carney speaking: "Promoted because of COVID. Won the league by 10 points." The clip has over 5.8 million views.
Carney, who played 144 times for England between 2005-2019, was subjected to sexist abuse which prompted the club to issue a statement condemning the same.
However, Leeds did not take down the tweet, which was also defended by club chairman Andrea Radrizzani who said Carney's comment had been "completely unnecessary and disrespectful".
Leeds were condemned by players and journalists for their behaviour on Twitter, which many said did not befit a top flight club's official account.
Chelsea forward Bethany England slammed Leeds for their "atrocious behaviour".
"Cyber bullying a female pundit and opening her up to mass online abuse for doing her job and having her opinion," she wrote on Twitter.
Carney also received support from American twice-World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe.
"Shame. Shame. Shame. Thicken up that skin y'all. Also, don't come for Karen Carney, she's a national treasure," Rapinoe wrote on Twitter.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)