There appears to have been a happy ending to the spat between darts players Michael van Gerwen and Jules van Dongen, with good causes set to benefit.
The pair were involved in a stormy match at the US Darts Masters on Friday, with heavy favourite Van Gerwen eventually seeing off the spirited Van Dongen, a Dutch-born US-based player, 6-4. After the match, MVG was less than complimentary about Van Dongen, saying: “I let him into the game but it's the game of his life – his first time in front of his home crowd but I did the right thing at the end,” said Van Gerwen.
In another interview, with Online Darts TV, Van Gerwen was asked about Van Dongen’s attempts to whip up the crowd. He said: “He has to do that, what else can he do. With all due respect, he doesn’t have 20 per cent of the talent I’ve got. You have to do something. With all due respect to him, that’s the facts.”
Those comments didn’t go down on social media with some fans calling Van Gerwen disrespectful. It was pointed out by one Twitter user that MVG’s comments could back to haunt him in the future.
In reply, Van Dongen tweeted: “D**** come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes they wear green jerseys. I play with my heart I might not have the talent he does but I sure am enjoying it all [heart and US flag emojis].
Van Dongen promptly deleted that post but had a fresh dig at Van Gerwen later in the tournament, which he watched as part of the crowd, tweeting a picture of himself holding a signing reading: “MVG is 1% as good looking as JVD.”
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However, their verbal barbs look set to raise money for two worthy causes, with Van Dongen tweeting: “Let's have some fun and raise $ for charity! Bid on my 2022 bet365 US Darts match-worn jersey against MVG to benefit the MSA Coalition! 20% of the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish Nederland in MVG's name!.”
The MSA Coalition provides support and research to people in the US suffering from Multiple System Atrophy, a rare neurodegenerative disorder that can cause a multitude of symptoms, including impairments to balance, difficulty with movement, poor coordination, bladder dysfunction, sleep disturbances and poor blood pressure control.
The plan has received warm backing from Van Gerwen, who retweeted Van Dongen’s message and wrote: “To be fair, class… 100%.”
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