June 18, 2024
Manchester United's Anthony Martial racially abused on social media after draw

Manchester United’s Anthony Martial racially abused on social media after draw

After Sunday’s game, racist symbols were left in the comments section of Martial’s latest Instagram post from October 19.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, told CNN that it swiftly removed comments and accounts on Martial’s post that broke its rules and said it continues to investigate.

It also said that it does not allow content that attacks people based on their race, ethnicity or national origin and content which violates its policies will be removed.

Greater Manchester Police did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Anthony Martial was racially abused on social media after Manchester United's draw against West Brom.
Instagram announced tougher measures to combat online abuse on its platform last week, which includes new controls to help reduce the abuse people see in their direct messages (DMs).

Instagram also said that between July and September 2020, it took action on 6.5 million pieces of hate speech on Instagram, including in DMs, 95% of which it found before anyone reported it.

Last month, Martial’s teammate Rashford spoke out against abuse he had received on social media.

“Yes, I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different,” Rashford said.

“So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here. I’m not sharing screenshots. It would be irresponsible to do so and as you can imagine there’s nothing original in them.”

Manchester United also said at the time that it is “disgusted” by racial abuse sent to players via social media.

“We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also … Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic,” the club said in a statement last month.

“We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour.”

Chelsea defender Reece James also called for change last month after he was abused on social media, while his club also said it was “disgusted” by the abuse.

The Premier League launched a “No Room For Racism Action Plan” last week, aimed at eradicating racial prejudice and creating more opportunities for Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups in football.

The plan also aims to educate fans and make the reporting of abusive behavior more effective.

Also last week, English football bodies wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey calling on them to show “basic human decency” and end offensive abuse towards footballers and match officials.