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Racist abuse directed at players supporting #Enough campaign

Players had been urged to stay off social media by their union.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling supported the #Enough campaign (Ian Hodgson/PA)
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling supported the #Enough campaign (Ian Hodgson/PA)

Players who took part in the #Enough campaign for a 24-hour social media boycott in protest at online racial abuse received further insults in response to their posts, the Professional Footballers’ Association has revealed.

The union intended to display a show of solidarity with its members who have been targeted, as well as a demand to social media organisations and the game’s authorities that more needs to be done.

Following the boycott, which started from 9am on Friday morning and had been backed by professionals throughout the English game, social media platforms issued responses to highlight their efforts to combat abuse.

Nevertheless, the PFA said on Saturday there had been more abuse directed at some of those involved in supporting the campaign.

“Yesterday, some members received racist abuse on their #Enough posts. When these incidents were reported, the response from social networks was – again – unacceptable,” the players’ union said in a post on Twitter.

“In the coming days, we will be inviting players to report any racist abuse they have received to us. We will collate it and share it with social platforms to demonstrate the impact of their lack of action.

This is a first step in a larger player-led campaign to tackle racism and demand meaningful change The PFA on the #Enough campaign

“We will be requesting meetings with each of the social platforms as a matter of priority. Meetings with the FA and government are planned for next month.

“This is a first step in a larger player-led campaign to tackle racism and demand meaningful change.”

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling was one of the players to give his strong backing to the campaign after he was abused on Twitter after his side’s Champions League defeat in Barcelona this week.

Smalling joins a lengthening list of players – also including  Mohamed Salah, Danny Welbeck, Raheem Sterling, Michy Batshuayi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Moussa Sissoko – who have received abuse over the same platform in recent years.

Following a spate of attacks on players both on social media and in and around stadiums, concern is mounting over racism in football.

During the Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last month, England’s black players were subjected to repeated chants, while Tottenham defender Danny Rose revealed recently he has “had enough” and “can’t wait” to quit the game.

PA

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