KIEFER Ravena said he felt bad for the girl who took a hit online for flashing a dirty finger while posing for a photo with the Ateneo star, saying he was sorry that the bashing has almost reached cyber-bullying proportions.
Netizens reacted strongly when the photo of the girl wearing a La Salle jacket and flashing the middle finger at Ravena went viral, hours after Ateneo's overtime win over University of the East on Sunday.
Ravena has since accepted an apology from the girl, who has deactivated her Twitter account. Several unconfirmed reports also said the girl isn't from La Salle and is actually from a nearby school.
“Mas naawa nga ako sa girl kasi dine-activate pa niya ‘yung account niya,” Ravena told Spin.ph on Monday. “Siguro na-pressure na rin na parang hindi niya alam ‘yung gagawin niya.”
Ravena, who scored a career-high 38 points in Ateneo's overtime win over UE on Sunday, said he didn’t notice the girl flashing her middle finger at him during the photo opportunity simply because there were a lot of fans asking to have photos taken with him at the Mall of Asia Arena lobby.
“Hindi ko naman napansin ‘yung ganun. Daming nagpapa-picture so halos nakangiti na lang ako sa lahat. Hindi ko naman napansin,” said the Blue Eagles star.
"Bigla na lang nag-tag sa akin about the picture. Doon ko lang din nalaman na ‘Oo nga ‘no, naka-ganun pala.’"
Ravena said he simply shrugged off the incident, until the photo went viral.
“Sa akin, wala lang naman ‘yun, mas nag-react talaga ‘yung mga fans. Hindi naman ako sumagot,” said Ravena.
Ravena said the girl has apologized to him through Ateneo team manager Debbie Tan, who knew the girl’s parents. A text message from the girl was relayed to Ravena by Tan.
After the apology, Ravena wrote on Twitter that he had accepted the girl’s apology and pleaded to his followers to stop the online bashing.
“Hindi ko na lang pinost ‘yung sinabi niya kasi baka mahiya 'rin siya at baka kung ano pang gawin sa kanya. Sabi ko na rin sa kanya, wala namang problema ‘yun, huwag na lang niya ulitin kasi bata pa siya tapos umabot pa sa parang cyber-bullying ang nangyari.
“Sinabi ko na lang sa mga tao na nag-apologize na siya. Okay naman, at least kahit papaano, patay na ‘yung issue,” said Ravena.