After missing a penalty in their 1-1 premier league draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United Midfielder Paul Pogba attracted so much online hate (mainly racist). Manchester United had to issue a strong statement against the views. Pogba said the racist insults he had faced will only strengthen him, and he promised to fight it for the sake of the next generation.
“Racist insults are ignorance and can only make me stronger and motivate me to fight for the next generation. My ancestors and my parents suffered for my generation to be free today, to work, to take the bus, to play football.”
The tweet was accompanied by a picture of him holding his baby alongside a portrait of Martin Luther King.
According to a British media report, Pogba’s team mate Marcus Rashford had suffered similar trolls after missing a penalty in a 2-1 premier league defeat by Crystal Palace. Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, mentioned before the match that players require more protection from social media companies. He said that such acts need to stop.
“It’s unheard of and we need it to stop.”
“I’m just lost for words if it keeps going.”
“We keep having all these campaigns ‘No to Racism’ and it keeps hiding behind fake identities. It’s crazy that we talk about this in 2019.”
Some players from other clubs have also had to suffer the same fate. Tammy Abraham, a 21-year-old striker, was a target of abuse after Chelsea lost the UEFA Super Cup to Liverpool. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard had to tell social media companies to do something about it. British Anti-discriminatory body, Kick It Out, reported that it had received 159 reports of discrimination via social media in the English professional game last season.
Reacting to the issue, Kick It Out said the online racial abuse requires immediate and strongest possible action.
“The vile racist abuse on social media continued today. This problem will not go away and needs decisive action – that’s what we’ll be making clear to Twitter when we meet.”
“Without immediate and the strongest possible action, these cowardly acts will continue to grow.”
Twitter officials said they had permanently suspended a number of accounts following racial posts. They admitted that the cases have become severe. In a statement, Twitter announced that its representatives will meet Manchester United, Kick It Out, and any other interested organization to discuss Pogba’s incident.
“We strongly condemn this unacceptable behaviour, and have now permanently suspended a series of accounts for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy. We’re proactively monitoring the conversation online and will continue taking robust action on any account which violates our Rules.”
“Over the next few weeks, Twitter representatives will meet with Manchester United, Kick It Out and any other civil society stakeholders interested in hearing about the proactive work Twitter is doing to address online racist abuse towards certain footballers in the UK over recent days.”
Even though the club acknowledges that online racial abuse is less severe on Facebook, they decided that it is necessary to meet representatives of the platform as well.