Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says trolls who racially abused Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial are not Manchester United fans.
Tuanzebe and Martial were subjected to racial abuse by some users on Instagram following United’s 2-1 Premier League home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday night. Martial’s wife, Melanie, also received racial abuse and death threats.
United have urged social media sites to eradicate abuse posted by ‘anonymous mindless idiots’ and demanded they ‘strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour’.
The club’s director of communications Charlie Brooks said on Five Live social media accounts needed to be ‘identifiable and verifiable’.
Solskjaer said the Premier League should continue its anti-racism campaign and expressed his ‘disgust’ at the vile abuse Tuanzebe and Martial endured.
“It’s just incredible we have these scenes still, this abuse in 2021,” Solskjaer despaired.
“We’ve been campaigning for a long time now with the Premier League and I think it’s working, but there are still some people that haven’t got it, hide behind social media, be anonymous and it’s unacceptable and it’s disgusting.
“The players and everyone, we’ve spoken to each other and they’re fine, to put it that way. They’re not Man United fans – in my head, anyway – when this happens. We’re all standing behind every single one of our players.
“Axel is fine, I’ve spoken to him. And, of course, it’s not nice but he’s a strong boy, a strong character, he’s got good support from his family, and we’re his family in the club and his teammates are his family.
“It’s not something you expect to see now but you’re not surprised when you see it once in a while when it happens. There are some people you feel sorry for, that’s what you have to do with these individuals.
“I think the social media platforms need to be looked at, yeah. If you can create an anonymous account and you can abuse people, of course it’s not right. We’ll work together with everyone to stop this nonsense.”