They call themselves “”Pistorians”, and doggedly defend the athlete’s every action.
According to Vice writer Alex McClintock: “They come from England, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Brazil. There might be male Pistorians, but I couldn’t find any. Their day jobs seem to be professional but their main occupation these days is defending the Blade Runner from what they call the sensational media.”
Pistorius appears in court today to appeal his bail conditions, and was arrested on February 14 after he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home, allegedly having mistaken her for a burglar.
McClintok compares the Pistorians to rapper Chris Brown’s legion of “Breezers”, who aggressively put down anyone who criticises the controversial rapper. Brown was mired in controversy for beating up his girlfriend and singer Rihanna.
The women have formed an online community, supporting Pistorius, his brother Carl (who faces charges of culpable homicide) and each other:
— Lizzie (@lupin_lizzie) March 22, 2013
— Rista Wilson (@Rista_Wilson) March 21, 2013
One Pistorian voiced her admiration for the Paralympian in a doting Facebook comment:
"Is it that he not just physically attractive but has an attractive physiology? The asymetric smile, the one that always reaches his eyes, that is never self-satisfied but inclusive of the person looking on, the shy darting movements of seeming embarassment his eyes make when he is being praised, the look of panic in those eyes when they are passing his running leg around a studio audience, the way his eyebrows move in acknowledgement when he sees the camera focused on him as if to say "Hi! just a little busy here – see you soon". It could be summed up by the presenter on the Italian show Bailando con le stelle – "it is as if you are my son"."
McClintok quipped that the Pistorians "may be a few blades short of a Paralympian" while feminist website Jezebel criticised the Pistorian's unquestioning fanhood, stating that: "It's one thing for people to believe that Pistorius is innocent until proven guilty. It's another to glorify his actions, which ultimately ended in the death of a young woman, as being the noble option."
McClintock was harassed by the dogged supporters for tweeting the fact that the Blade Runner had been arrested for assaulting a previous girlfriend, charges which were later dropped. He was accused of spreading a false story.
"Then things got even weirder." He writes. "Apparently the number one issue that feminists should be addressing isn’t violence against women, but women posing in bikinis. I mean, obviously Steenkamp deserved it because she was a lads' mag model."
"I’d be really upset if my daughter got shot by her boyfriend, but there you go." McClintok commented.