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Ashley Judd Is Pressing Charges Against March Madness Twitter Abusers

The actress faced an avalanche of abusive and sexually violent threats after sending a critical sports tweet.

It’s not an unusual thing for diehard sports fans to get overly impassioned and enthusiastic about their favorite teams. After all, sports are supposed to be fun, and competitive trash-talking and “in-your-face” boasting are all part of the deal.

But “Insurgent” actress Ashley Judd is shining a light on the ugly side of March Madness by revealing the shocking details of some recent online abuse directed at her.

An alumna of the University of Kentucky and a Wildcats superfan, Judd was on hand in Nashville for her team’s big win over Arkansas on Sunday (March 15). At one point during the game, she sent out a tweet accusing the Razorbacks of playing dirty. It’s since been deleted, but she described the tweet in an interview with MSNBC on Monday.

“In my impassioned game moment, I said something that, if I were in a more calm state of mind, I might have phrased differently,” Judd admitted. “I might have said, ‘I feel really disappointed with what seems [like an] ultra-aggressive play.’ Instead, I wrote, ‘I think Arkansas is playing dirty.’”

It sounds like a fairly standard and mild reaction for any sports fan to have — I’m sure we’ve all seen similar tweets from people we follow — but Judd’s opinion was met with an avalanche of abusive and sexually violent threats.

Judd further explained to MSNBC, “Well, apparently I'm a whore, I've been called a C-word. The way things happen on social media is so abusive, and everybody needs to take personal responsibility for what they write and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist. And by the way, I'm pressing charges.”

To illustrate her point, Judd tweeted out some examples of misogynistic threats she received, as well as her responses to users who criticized her for taking legal action.

The actress also spoke with “Today” about the incident, saying, "The amount of gender violence that I experienced is absolutely extraordinary," said Judd. "And a significant part of my day today will be spent filing police reports at home about gender violence that's directed at me on social media.”

Sexism in sports is a problem that’s been rampant for years — for players, journalists, and fans alike — and hopefully Judd’s legal actions will help people realize that harassers need to be called out and reprimanded more often.