Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has received more racist abuse on social media than any other Premier League player, according to Kick It Out.
As reported by the London Evening Standard, Balotelli has received 8,000 abusive messages on social media so far this season, around 4,000 of which were racist, the most for a Premier League footballer.
In total, Kick It Out believe social media users have posted more than 134,000 messages that discriminate since August. Of that total, around 34,000 have been directed at Premier League footballers.
As well as Balotelli, other Premier League stars subjected to regular abuse include Arsenal's Danny Welbeck and Balotelli's Liverpool teammate Daniel Sturridge.
Both Welbeck and Sturridge have received at least 1,000 each, with 50 per cent of the 1,700 abusive messages to the Arsenal star focusing on his race.
As for Sturridge, more than half of the 1,500 messages he received referenced sexual orientation.
Kick It Out director Roisin Wood told Press Association Sport: "It is really shocking. We knew there was an issue but even we were shocked by how many the players have received. For one player to have received over 8,000 abusive messages is phenomenally awful.
"You cannot accept players getting that level of abuse so we want to bring this expert group together to see how we can address this.
"We don't see the problem going away. Some of the perpetrators are young people and they need educating that you cannot sit in your room and abuse people like this. It is also an issue for the social media platforms and how they address this."
Balotelli is one of the most active players on social media, with a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. And the level of abuse he receives, often known as 'trolling', is truly shocking.
In recent months a number of high profile 'trolling' cases has prompted companies like Twitter to review their policies on abusive messages.
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