Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has become the latest high-profile footballer to be subjected to racist abuse on social media.
It comes after United condemned similar abuse directed towards Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe, while Rashford’s England teammate Reece James was sent vile racist messages on Instagram – all of which came over the course of the past week.
Rashford wrote on Twitter:
“Humanity and social media at its worst. 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. 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.
“I have beautiful children of all colours following me and they don’t need to read it. Beautiful colours that should only be celebrated.”
Rashford’s story strengthens calls for tighter moderation on social media platforms in order to prevent the sort of anonymity that enables individuals to freely spout hatred without fear of consequence beyond a suspension or ban.
The Premier League continues to stand against racism, with clubs taking a knee ahead of every match in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But more than six months since those shows of support began, we are still seeing players subjected to racist abuse on a far too regular basis.
James called for change after revealing the extent of the abuse he received, while Premier League chief Richard Masters has asked social media companies to take more responsibility for the hatred shared on their platforms.
He said: “We are in regular dialogue with social media companies, challenging them to do more against discriminatory abuse on their platforms. We want to see swifter removal of offensive messages and improved identification and banning of offenders.”