Racism hurts and it must STOP: Arsenal winger Willian demands authorities do more to tackle online abuse of soccer players and calls on social media companies to identify perpetrators
Willian wants racist trolls to be paid and has urged football authorities to do more to support players as he reveals the pain caused by online abuse against him and his family.
The Arsenal winger is one of many stars to have received nauseating racist messages this season.
The Brazilian said: ‘If they want to criticize me, that’s no problem. But when they attack your family with words I can’t say here, it hurts. It’s a big deal. These people have to pay for that.
Arsenal midfielder Willian spoke out against the sickening racist abuse he recently received
His comments come before the Gunners Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague
‘I’ve seen some people remove their social media because of racism and abuse. I want to do that right away. But then when you think about it, take a few minutes and relax a little more (it changes). ‘
Asked if he was afraid to look at his phone after games, Willian admitted, “Yeah, sometimes. We are people. We are professional. We do our best to help the team, we want to win, we never want to lose.
But sometimes you have a bad day and they come and say words that hurt you. That’s why we want to stop it. Enough is enough. To change it, we need the authorities to act. That is it. I will never stop my fight against racism.
‘We need to find a way to change social media. People want to have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – they have to enter their ID, passport or whatever. Then when these things happen, we can get them, the authorities can get them. They (the Premier League, UEFA and FIFA) must support us. ‘
Brazilian pledged ‘never to stop’ in his fight against racism and called on authorities to take action
Arsenal launched a push last week to highlight the #StopOnlineAbuse issue and Willian’s plea came when Liverpool added the call for more action after Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita were targeted in the wake of their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid.
It also came as Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara outlined the abuse he has received since he claimed he had been racially abused by Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela, who will miss his side’s Europa League trip to Arsenal on Thursday night due to suspension. Both Willian and manager Mikel Arteta addressed the issue for the quarterfinals.
Kamara told ITV: ‘I didn’t pay much attention to what he did after this whole incident, but I’ve seen their fans, how they responded, and I’m likely to get (racially) abuse on Instagram every day.
‘I had so many different emotions and felt like a victim. I just felt like a little boy (when the incident happened). It was a very strange feeling. Hopefully I never have to feel that again. If I could go back I would walk 100 percent off the field. My manager tried to get me off the field, but I couldn’t hear anyone. ‘
Manager Mikel Arteta declined to comment on Ondrej Kudela’s situation
Glen Kamara of the Rangers (left) accused Kudela of racism; Kudela could play against Arsenal next week
Kudela was suspended from one match after admitting to using offensive language against Kamara, although he denies racist abuse.
UEFA has opened a separate investigation into the allegations of racism. A conclusion before Thursday is unlikely – so if he’s fit, Kudela could play in the return leg.
Kudela is also the subject of a police investigation in Scotland.
When asked about calls for Slavia Prague to be kicked out of the game if Kudela is found guilty, Arteta said, “It depends on what happens in the investigation and the rules.”