Manchester United players have called on Twitter and Instagram to take a stronger stance on racism after Paul Pogba became the latest footba
Manchester United players have called on Twitter and Instagram to take a stronger stance on racism after Paul Pogba became the latest footballer to receive disgusting abuse on social media.
The Frenchman missed a penalty against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night with the score at 1-1 and Tuesday morning saw him targeted by racist abuse.
But his team-mates quickly came out publicly and condemned the abuse with £80million summer signing Harry Maguire and striker Marcus Rashford among those to voice their anger.
Paul Pogba is the latest in a long line of footballers to receive vile racist abuse on social media
He missed a penalty against Wolves, and was attacked by racists on Twitter after the match
Pogba’s United team-mate Harry Maguire urged social media to ‘do something about’ abuse
United striker Marcus Rashford also made his feelings known early on Tuesday morning
Rashford insisted that any disgusting abuse aimed at Pogba is aimed at the whole squad
United goalkeeper David de Gea also offered his support to Pogba by tweeting on Tuesday
Maguire suggested every account on Twitter and Instagram should be ‘verified with a passport’ in a bid to reduce anonymous trolling.
He wrote: ‘Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it… Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence.
‘Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people. @Twitter @instagram’
Rashford went on to add: ‘Manchester United is a family. @paulpogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all… @ManUtd’.
Goalkeeper David de Gea also offered his support to Pogba. He tweeted: ‘As a captain, teammate and athlete: there’s no room for racism or discrimination’.
It comes in a week where Chelsea‘s Tammy Abraham and Reading’s Yakou Meite also suffered racist insults.
United put out a strong statement on Tuesday condemning those abusing their midfielder
Manchester United also released a statement condemning the racist behaviour.
‘Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse aimed at Paul Pogba last night and we utterly condemn it,’ it began.
‘The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also.
‘Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative.
‘We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us. We also encourage social media companies to take action in these cases.’
While some of the tweets and accounts have since been deleted, many still remain visible on the website, amid calls for stricter punishments for this kind of behaviour.
‘F*** you Pogba u f****** dancing monkey black n*****,’ wrote one vile user, with another saying ‘sell Pogba f****** monkey kingkong.’
Maguire was among a number of United’s squad calling for more to be done to stop the abuse
Watford striker Troy Deeney recently said he was told by a social media representative that the monkey emoji is not racist, despite its well known use in that capacity.
Another Twitter user sent multiple abhorrent tweets, one including a death threat, and another saying he ‘wished slavery still existed.’
Many Twitter users hit back by denouncing the awful language, with some reporting accounts to Twitter and the police.
Twitter’s policy on hate speech is as follows: ‘We will review and take action against reports of accounts targeting an individual or group of people with any of the following behavior, whether within Tweets or Direct Messages.
‘Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.
‘We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.
‘This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.’
Reading winger Yakou Meite received similar abuse after missing a penalty at the weekend
Similar slurs were directed to Meite after he missed a penalty in Reading’s 3-0 win over Cardiff at the weekend.
He posted screenshots of some of the messages he received, commenting ‘I don’t think I need to speak.’
It was the same story for Abraham after missing a spot kick in Chelsea’s Super Cup defeat by Liverpool last week.
Football anti-racism charity Kick It Out released a statement following the incident with Pogba.
‘The latest round of fixtures have again seen unwarranted and vile racist abuse sent to players. This time, Reading’s Yakou Meite and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
‘The number of posts such as these since the start of the season further highlights how discriminatory abuse online is out of control.
‘Without immediate and the strongest possible action these cowardly acts will continue to grow. As always, we have contacted the respective clubs to offer support to those affected.’
Tammy Abraham was another to have slurs hurled at him following a penalty miss last week
SOCIAL MEDIA RACISM POLICIES
‘We will review and take action against reports of accounts targeting an individual or group of people with any of the following behavior, whether within Tweets or Direct Messages.
‘Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone. We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.’
‘We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics – race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity and serious disease or disability. We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define ‘attack’ as violent or dehumanising speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.’
‘It’s never OK to encourage violence or attack anyone based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disabilities, or diseases. When hate speech is being shared to challenge it or to raise awareness, we may allow it. In those instances, we ask that you express your intent clearly.’