Lyon Take Action Against Clown Memes

Reuters

Lyon have taken the drastic action to threaten their own supporters with legal action after the emergence of a social media fad that has seen coach Rudi Garcia and – to a lesser extent president Jean-Michel Aulas – depicted as clowns.

Some fans have hijacked the replies to tweets posted by Lyon's official Twitter account this week, responded to any post with doctored images predominantly of Garcia as a clown.

The backlash came in response to the club's official Twitter account blocking a vocal fan who had initially created and posted the meme as a sign of frustration.

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Lyon are now taking a hard-line approach to the phenomenon, though even the tweet used to announce possible legal proceedings against those involved was inundated with clown-related responses.

A club statement read: "Olympique Lyonnais (OL) announces that the club will now file legal complaints for all content, posted or shared on its social networks, which may constitute abuse, defamation, threat, harassment or incitement to hate or violence.

"It is our duty to mobilise to fight against instances of discrimination and hate, online and on the field. OL will manage its responsibilities in this sense."

Lyon, who sit seventh in Ligue 1 after an underwhelming season, host Juventus in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.