Ian Wright has called on social media companies to do more to stop racism after Manchester United star Marcus Rashford spoke out about the abuse he received.
Rashford received abhorrent racist messages on Instagram following United’s 0-0 draw against Arsenal on Saturday evening.
The 23-year-old United striker hit out at ‘humanity and social media at its worst’, but chose not to share screenshots of the messages because it ‘would be irresponsible to do so’.
He is not the first to be subjected to such vile behaviour, with Chelsea’s Reece James, West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and United duo Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial all subjected to hate this week.
Many people have called upon social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to make anonymous trolling impossible by forcing people to prove their identities when they create accounts.
Former Arsenal striker Wright has added his voice to the growing calls for action by questioning whether those in power care enough about the problem.
“As long as the powers that be continue to allow people to feel like it’s something they can do – a black player plays poorly and they come with emojis and whatever it is,” he said on BBC’s Match of the Day.
“Until they do something, there are ways of being able to catch people but I don’t think they are vigilant enough. How much do they care deep down?”
Wright’s fellow pundit, former Tottenham man Jermaine Jenas, added: “The platforms, I need them to show me these people and say they’re doing everything they can to bring some justice. For those asking why we are still taking the knee, there you go.”
Rashford tweeted a powerful message after he was targeted by online trolls.
He said: “Humanity and social media at its worst. Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am.
“No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.
“I’m not sharing screenshots. It would be irresponsible to do so and as you can imagine there’s nothing original in them. I have beautiful children of all colours following me and they don’t need to read it. Beautiful colours that should only be celebrated.”
Free Manchester United newsletter
Manchester United missed multiple chances to beat Arsenal on Saturday evening, drawing 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford were culpable of squandering opportunities, as United now sit three points off league leaders Man City having played a game more.
MEN Sport will bring you all the build-up to and reaction from every United match. You can have it all delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter. Just put your email address in the sign-up box at the top of this article, or simply follow this link. It’s free and only takes a few seconds.
The Football Association have reiterated their stance on the subject and said they remain committed to stamping out racism in football.
“We are united with all of football in our abhorrence of any racist abuse,” the organisation said in a statement on Twitter. “This is not acceptable in any part of society.
“We will continue to work with the rest of the game, the government and social media platforms to remove this – and all elements of – discrimination from our sport.”