Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is continuing to show grace, class, and intelligence in the face of horrific online abuse.
Rashford had a lot of racial abuse directed at him after Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against Arsenal on Saturday, but he refused to stoop to their level to respond to it. Instead of posting screenshots of some of the racist tweets, he showed why he’s a role model for kids — and adults — everywhere.
As a Black athlete, Rashford has heard every awful insult under the sun. The abuse he’s getting is nothing new, so he’s letting the racist internet trolls know that it’s impossible for them to affect him.
Premier League, Football Association condemn racial abuse
Rashford is the third Black Manchester United player in less than a week to be subjected to intense online racial abuse. Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were sent a number of racist messages on social media after they lost to Sheffield United on Wednesday. West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers and Chelsea’s Reece James also received racist messages on social media last week.
The Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters released a statement on Friday that condemned any and all racist abuse.
“I am appalled to see the racial abuse received by players this week,” Masters said via ESPN. “Racist behaviour of any form is unacceptable and nobody should have to deal with it. Tackling online hate is a priority for football, and I believe social media companies need to do more.
“We at the Premier League will continue to support players, managers and their families who receive discriminatory online abuse. Through our central reporting system we have been able to take immediate action on cases like this and we investigate every report received, with legal action taken where possible.
“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.”
In a tweet on Saturday, the Football Association echoed those sentiments.
Police launching investigation
The Greater Manchester Police announced on Sunday that they’ve launched an investigation into the abuse against Tuanzebe, Martial, and Rashford.
The West Midlands police had already launched an investigation into the abuse of Saywers, and announced on Friday that they’d arrested a 49-year-old man who is suspected of sending racist messages to Sawyers on social media.
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