Manchester United players are “absolutely sick” of receiving racial abuse on social media, club boss Charlie Brooks insisted after Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were targeted by online trolls.
Tuanzebe, 23, was the subject of vile racist comments on his Instagram account following United’s shocking home loss to Sheffield United on Wednesday night – including one that said “DAMNNN N *****” as well as several obnoxious monkey emojis in an old photo he posted a fortnight ago of his jersey and United number.
Some reports claimed that Tuanzebe deleted his Twitter account following the abuse he suffered after the match at Old Trafford, while Martial was also abused after playing the entire match, which led United to call on social media sites to root out published abuse. by “anonymous and stupid idiots”.
Manchester United chief Charlie Brooks insisted players are fed up with racial abuse online
Manchester United condemned the disgusting racist abuse suffered by defender Axel Tuanzebe and striker Anthony Martial on social media
Club communications director Brooks said United players are “sick” of the “hate-filled” abuse online and urged social media platforms to create verifiable and identifiable accounts so perpetrators can be identified. arrested.
Talk to BBC Radio 5 Live, Brooks said: “The players are fed up, absolutely fed up, we as a club are fed up. As a club we have a long standing commitment to tackling racism through our own All initiative. Red All Equal.
“This is something we focused on both at the campaign level and at the practical help level. We are of course going to help the players, all the clubs do that, the Premier League does that, they have an online reporting system for players and their families but ultimately no one should have to deal with this at their workplace and that’s what it is for the players.
Monkey emojis were posted on a photo the advocate posted a few weeks ago
Racist comments were also made on his Instagram account following the shock defeat
Full transcript of Charlie Brooks interview
I think that is part of the problem, you have people who are spreading this vile abuse against footballers and of course it happens at all levels of society and football becomes a lightning rod for it. The players have to deal with that. They are used to criticism in their roles, they are used to being public figures but no one should have to put up with what they have to do on social media. And we had discussions with social media platforms and they are committed to helping. They have better control, they delete accounts when they see abuse, but the impetus must be on them to create verifiable and identifiable accounts, because even if they are allowed to remain anonymous, these people can continue to spread those vile views.
I understand that a lot of people will say that they have to remain anonymous on social media, they can be persecuted themselves and I know that there is a big debate about this, but I think what is important is this. is that they are not allowed to remain anonymous in the background. If an account is anonymous in public so to speak, that’s one thing, but they then use it to promote illegal abusive hateful terms on social media, they should be able to be tracked, identified and turned over to authorities if necessary. . This is what social media platforms need to examine and I know this is part of a larger debate with the government and the online gun bills that are coming in right now.
The players are fed up, we as a club are fed up. As a club we have a long standing commitment to the fight against racism through our own All Red Are Equal initiative. This is something we focused on both at the campaign level and at the practical help level. We are of course going to help the players, all the clubs do that, the Premier League does that, they have an online reporting system for players and their families but ultimately no one should have to deal with this at their workplace and that’s what it is for the players.
“Players are used to criticism in their roles, they are used to being public figures but no one should have to put up with what they have to put on social media. And we had discussions with social media platforms and they are committed to helping.
“They have better control, they delete accounts when they see abuse, but they really need to be motivated to create verifiable and identifiable accounts, because even if they are allowed to remain anonymous, these people can continue to spread these vile opinions. “
Brooks’ comments come after the club urged social media companies to “step up measures” after being “disgusted” by the abuse suffered by Tuanzebe and Martial.
In a statement, United wrote: “Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game.
“We categorically condemn him and it is encouraging to see other fans condemning him on social media as well.
“Manchester United have zero tolerance for any form of racism or discrimination and a long standing commitment to campaign against it through our All Red All Equal initiative.
“The identification of these anonymous and stupid idiots remains problematic. We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to step up measures to prevent this type of behavior.
A Facebook spokesperson said Sportsmail: ‘There is no place for racism on Instagram and we are committed to removing it when we find it.
“We know there is still a long way to go and we will continue to work closely with clubs, players and football authorities to investigate cases of discrimination and collectively tackle this problem.”
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand also condemned comments made on Tuanzebe’s account, writing on Twitter: “It’s a shame. These ignorant idiots need to be exposed so that everyone can see them for what they are. are !’
The news comes just days after Micah Richards’ new documentary shed light on the heinous online race footballers face.
Images of monkeys and bananas were received on the SportsmayI columnist’s Twitter and Instagram feeds after supporting Black Lives Matter.
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, Manchester City star Raheem Sterling, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba also received the same.
Jordan Henderson and Tyrone Mings also held talks with government ministers this week on tackling football abuse.
Oliver Dowden and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston led a Zoom call with England stars and eight other footballing personalities, including Watford’s Troy Deeney and retired players-turned-broadcasters Anton Ferdinand and Karen Carney.
Rio Ferdinand led comments condemning racist abuse suffered by Tuanzebe
Winner Oliver Burke entered after suffering a left thigh deflection from Tuanzebe at Old Trafford
Ferdinand recently opened in a documentary about his experiences with racism, and during the call, players were asked to share their experiences of abuse, while ministers explained their plans to tackle harm in line in a new bill that will be submitted to Parliament this year. .
The Aston Villa Mings defender, who has previously spoken of racist abuse on social media, added: “I was delighted that the Secretary of State wanted to discuss and listen to our thoughts as players and ex-players. Hopefully this adds some context when he tries to make changes on our behalf.
Players Renee Hector and Rinsola Babajide were also on call, as were Paul Elliott of the FA, Simone Pound of the PFA and Shaka Hislop of Show Racism the Red Card.
Fulham also launched an investigation into the historic allegations of racism and bullying within his academy in the wake of claims made by former young Max Noble.
In the game itself, United missed the opportunity to return to the top of the league, with Kean Bryan also scoring for Chris Wilder’s men, although his goal was canceled by Harry Maguire’s equalizer.
The news comes after Micah Richards’ new documentary reveals the extent of online abuse