Manchester United reveals online abuse of club players has been TRIPLED after finding 3,300 abusive messages in less than 18 months – as football leads the sport to boycott on social media this weekend
- Man United reported a 350 percent increase in online abuse of its players
- United took part in the boycott of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook this weekend
- The club conducted its own investigation between September 2019 and February 2021
- 3,300 offensive messages directed at United players, 86 percent of which were racist
Manchester United reported a 350 percent increase in the online abuse of its players in the lead-up to a social media blackout.
United joined the rest of English football by boycotting Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from Friday 3pm to Monday midnight in protest at the racist, homophobic and insulting comments made against players.
The club conducted its own investigation over a 17-month period between September 2019 and February 2021, which found that the abuse has skyrocketed.
Manchester United reported a 350 percent increase in online abuse of its players – Anthony Martial (C), Axel Tuanzebe and Fred (L) have been racially abused in recent months
United’s investigation between September 2019 and February 2021 uncovered 3,300 offensive messages
It uncovered 3,300 offensive messages targeting United players – 86 percent racist and 8 percent homophobic – with Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe and Fred all confirming they have been racially abused in recent months. Most messages contain the N word or emojis with racist intent.
The situation peaked in January this year with more than 400 insulting messages from players, while United also discovered an increase in fans abusing each other on social media.
The club’s general manager, Richard Arnold, said: “We have been actively campaigning against discrimination for some time through our All Red All Equal initiative.
The level of support we have received from our fans for this work has been hugely encouraging, but these numbers show that despite the level of abuse our players and fans are getting is on the rise.
It must be said that while these figures are shocking, they represent only 0.01 percent of the conversations that take place on social media about the club and the players.
By participating in this boycott this weekend, we want to shed some light on the problem, in addition to the rest of English football. It will generate debate and discussion and raise awareness of the level of abuse our players and fans receive. ‘
Meanwhile, United have suspended six fans for abuse of Tottenham’s Son Heung-min on social media following the Premier League game between the two clubs earlier this month.
Three were subscribers, two were official members and one was on the waiting list for a subscription.
United joined the rest of English football by boycotting Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from Friday 3pm to Monday midnight
A statement read: ‘This disciplinary measure shows the club’s commitment to the fight against discrimination on many fronts.
It follows the launch of United’s anti-discrimination campaign, SEE RED, earlier this month. SEE RED called on fans to celebrate the contribution of the club’s black and Asian players and report discriminatory behavior. ‘
United has also set up a new online reporting system that fans can access via manutd.com/seered.
The club will work with the Premier League to escalate any complaints to social media platforms and the relevant authorities.
Wolf boss Nuno Espirito Santo believes the boycott should be repeated on social media to ensure the anti-racism message is heard.
United has suspended six fans for abuse of Tottenham’s Son Heung-min on social media
“It will take a while, but at the same time I don’t like to say a lot of things because I think we are taking a big risk with regard to our freedom,” he said.
Not everyone on social media uses it badly. You have to be in balance, and we can’t jeopardize our freedom, but right now I think it’s a good measure.
‘Shall we have to repeat it again? It probably takes time for people to understand the right message. It’s the same as taking the knee, it had an impact in the beginning and slowly it became normal. ‘
The boycott, first announced by football clubs, players and the FA, concerns the program of public holidays.
Since then, other sports organizations have joined – including the England and Wales Cricket Board, Premiership Rugby and the Lawn Tennis Association – emphasizing the need for the social media giants to do more to eradicate online hatred.