The 26-year old player for Manchester United, Paul Pogba, became another casualty of online racial abuse after missing a penalty during a game against the Wolves. Even though he made a penalty during the second half of the game which then resulted in a draw of 1-1, he was on the receiving end of disturbing comments from angered supporters.
A Regular Occurrence in the World of Football
Pogba is only one of many football stars who have received verbal lashings on social media platforms in the form of racial abuse. One other such an unfortunate player is Chelsea’s striker, Tammy Abrahams. Abrahams was criticized for missing a penalty against Liverpool during the UEFA Super Cup Final. Abrahams’s defence is that he will answer his critics with playing a quality game to let his abilities speak for themselves.
Reading had also had to suffer some abuse when midfielder Yakou Meite was attacked after their game against Cardiff. According to the organization which is focused on eliminating racial discrimination within the sporting world of football, Kick It Out, the occurrence of racial abuse is still happening too often, and more strict action should be taken against these perpetrators. This is a statement with which the management of Manchester United couldn’t agree more.
Manchester United Responds
Manchester United has a stringent no-tolerance policy against such behaviour. They are even committed to various campaigns advocating that such abuse should be eliminated and that those who make themselves guilty of it should be severely punished. They furthermore stated that all possible efforts will be made to determine the identity of the people who made these racial comments and that they will be punished. Since the social media stir took off, however, a number of these comments were deleted, and in some instances, entire profiles were removed. They also expressed their appreciation for those fans who condemned the remarks.
Manchester United also requested that social media companies should join them in the effort to eradicate such behaviour. It was even suggested that such companies should consider that people should verify their true identities when opening accounts, to limit such actions which can be done in anonymity.
Another teammate of Pogba, Harry Maguire, also expressed his concern in regards with angered supporters which use social media platforms to express their negative feelings in an unaccepted manner. He, as well as fellow teammates, stated that in Manchester United they always strive towards achieving unity within the team. When supporters leave remarks as they did now, they are not only disrespecting the club’s values and ethics but are also causing friction. This is disrupting the unity in the team. Criticism of one player is indeed considered as a criticism of all.
For as long as that social media offers people the opportunity to express themselves without any limitation, it will, unfortunately, be a medium which can harvest racially abusive comments.