Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were subjected to racist abuse on Instagram after their team, Manchester City, lost 1-0 to Chelsea in Saturday’s Champions League final. This social network eliminated the accounts of the authors.
As reported by the Sky Sports channel, both Sterling and Walker were sent monkey emojis on their Instagram pages after the meeting. Sterling was also targeted after City’s semi-final victory against Paris Saint-Germain, shortly after the boycott of English football’s social media campaign came to an end earlier this May.
“The racist abuse of these players last night is abhorrent and we don’t want it on Instagram,” a representative for Facebook, who owns Instagram, said in a statement Sunday.
“We quickly removed a number of comments and accounts for violating our rules and continue to review and take action against those who violate our policies.”
He added that: “Nothing will fix this overnight, but we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our community safe from abuse.”
Several Premier League club players have been subjected to racist abuse online in recent months, including United’s Anthony Martial, Liverpool’s Trent-Alexander Arnold and Sadio Mané and Chelsea’s Reece James.
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford said he has been the target of “at least 70 racist insults” on social media following Wednesday’s loss to Villarreal in the Europa League final on penalties.
In February, English football bodies sent an open letter to Facebook and Twitter, urging them to quickly block and remove offensive posts, as well as to improve the verification process for users.
Instagram has announced further action and Twitter has pledged to continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of football-related abuse in the UK in 2019. The UK said this month that it has planned a new law by the that social networks would be fined up to 10 percent of their turnover or 21 million euros if they fail to eradicate racist abuse online, while senior managers could also face criminal action.