The football community has come together to support Axel Tuanzebe after the defender was racially abused on social media following Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday night.
Man Utd said in a statement that they are “disgusted” at the abuse Tuanzebe, along with his teammate Anthony Martial, have received online over the past 24 hours.
“Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game,” the statement read.
“We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also.
“Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic. We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour.”
United captain Harry Maguire, meanwhile, said: “United against racism. We will not tolerate it.”
While midfielder Scott McTominay wrote that he was “disgusted with what I have read this morning”.
United legend Rio Ferdinand called the abuse a “disgrace”, adding: “These ignorant idiots need to be exposed so everyone can see them for what they are.”
On Thursday afternoon, Tuanzebe reacted to the abuse by posting a video on his Instagram page alongside the caption: “My RACE My RELIGION My COLOUR =FOOTBALL #NoToRacism #UnitedAgainstRacism.”
The video, which includes footage of Tuanzebe in action for the Red Devils, can be viewed here…
It goes without saying that the abuse both Tuanzebe and Martial have received is absolutely appalling and social media companies must do more to ensure those responsible are identified and punished.
A Facebook company spokesperson, per Sky Sports, said: “There is no place for racism on Instagram and we are committed to removing it when we find it.
“We know there is more to do and we will continue to work closely with clubs, players and football authorities to investigate instances of discrimination and collectively tackle this issue.”
While Twitter said: “Racist behaviour has no place on our service and when we identify accounts that violate any of the Twitter rules, we take enforcement action. The tweet referenced is no longer on the service for violations of our hateful conduct policy.”