Manchester United players Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford – along with England women’s national team manager Phil Neville – have urged social media platforms to clamp down on racist abuse after Paul Pogba was targeted.
The Frenchman became the third professional footballer in a week to be racially abused on social media after he failed to score a penalty in United’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.
The club have since released a statement condemning the messages while vowing to take the “strongest course of action” against the culprits should they be identified.
Summer signing Maguire echoed the ‘disgust’ expressed by his new club. The former Leicester City centre-back also called on Twitter to “stop these pathetic trolls” by introducing more thorough identification steps for users when setting up accounts.
He tweeted: “Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it… Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence.
Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it… Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people. @Twitter @instagram https://t.co/bzow073aTw
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) August 20, 2019
“Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people.”
Rashford joined Maguire in showing solidarity with Pogba, urging social media platforms to take stronger action.
On his Twitter account, he wrote: “Manchester United is a family. Paul Pogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) August 20, 2019
“Enough now, this needs to stop.”
Last Friday, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said “something needs to be done” to combat racism on social media platforms after Tammy Abraham became the target of abusive messages.
— Kick It Out (@kickitout) August 20, 2019
A Kick It Out statement issued on Tuesday morning also highlighted “vile racist abuse” suffered by Reading player Yakou Meite.
Later on Tuesday, the England women’s national team coach suggested the football community undergoes a six-month boycott of social media to send a “powerful message”.
Neville told reporters: “I’ve lost total faith in whoever runs these social media departments, so I just wonder whether now as a football community, in terms of really sending a powerful message, is: come off social media.
“Six months – let’s come off social media. Let’s see the effect that it has on these social media companies, whether they’re really going to do something about it.”