(Reuters) – Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford said he been subjected to “at least 70 racial slurs” on social media following Wednesday’s defeat by Villarreal in the Europa League final.
United were beaten by Villarreal 11-10 in a shootout after a 1-1 draw following extra time in Gdansk.
“At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far,” Rashford tweeted https://twitter.com/MarcusRashford/status/1397693999872421888. “For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying.”
United tweeted https://twitter.com/ManUtd/status/1397709133613199360 after the game players were subjected to “disgraceful racist abuse” and urged users to report any form of abuse or discrimination through their online reporting tool.
A host of players at Premier League clubs have been targeted in the past few months, including United’s Anthony Martial, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Liverpool’s Trent-Alexander Arnold and Sadio Mane, and Chelsea’s Reece James.
In February, English football bodies sent an open letter to Facebook and Twitter, urging blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, as well as an improved verification process for users.
Instagram has announced new measures and Twitter vowed to continue its efforts after taking action on over 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)