Manchester United's Marcus Rashford target of racist abuse on Twitter

Mattha Busby on 24 August 2019

Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford was subject to racist abuse on Twitter after he missed a penalty on Saturday during the club’s narrow defeat against Crystal Palace.

The England international had led condemnation of the racial abuse teammate Paul Pogba was subjected to days earlier, after deplorable comments were aimed at him on social media following his own penalty being saved in a match against Wolves on Monday.

Rashford was called the “n” word by a number of people – one of whom purported to be a Manchester United fan – after his spot kick crashed against the post. Racist photos that attempted to mock him were also posted on Twitter.

A number of the comments soon appeared to have been taken down by the social media platform. But the latest hateful remarks were likely to spark fresh condemnation of racist abuse online after Rashford tweeted on Tuesday: “Enough now, this needs to stop Twitter … Manchester United is a family. Paul Pogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all.”

Manchester United had issued a statement saying the club was “disgusted” by the racial abuse aimed at Pogba and “utterly condemned” it.

“The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also.” It added that it will work to identify “the few involved in these incidents” and take the “strongest course of action available to us”.

During the match against Palace, Manchester United fans held up a banner saying ‘United against racism’.

Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham and Reading’s Yakou Méïté have also also been racially abused on Twitter during the past week after failing to score from the spot.

Ahead of Saturday’s fixtures Premier League managers put the focus on social media companies role in policing online abuse against footballers.

Twitter said in a statement to the Associated Press in response to the abuse of French international Pogba: “We strongly condemn this unacceptable behaviour, and have now permanently suspended a series of accounts for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy.

“This is a societal issue and requires a societal response. This is why we maintain a dialogue with both the PFA and Kick It Out and are committed to working together to address abusive online and racist behaviour across the industry.”

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