Marcus Rashford: Manchester United striker highlights racial abuse after Europa League loss

Marcus Rashford in action against Villarreal
Marcus Rashford highlighted the racial abuse he had received in the hours after Manchester United’s loss to Villarreal

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford said he had received “at least 70 racial slurs” on social media following Wednesday’s Europa League final loss to Villarreal.

United later tweeted to say their players had been subjected to “disgraceful racist abuse”.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost 11-10 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

“At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far,” Rashford wrote on Twitter.external-link

“For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying.”

In another tweet, Rashford said he was “more outraged” that one of the abusers who sent him a direct message appeared to be a maths teacher, adding: “He teaches children. And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence.”

It is understood the account has been deleted and the abuse will be reported to police by the club.

It is not clear via which platform the abuse was sent, but in April Instagram announced a tool to enable users to automatically filter out abusive messages from those they do not follow.

Facebook, who own Instagram, “urges” people to make use of the safety features, which it says “can meaningfully decrease the abuse people experience”.

Rashford has spoken previously about racial abuse he has received.

In January, the England forward said he was subjected to “humanity and social media at its worst” after receiving racist abuse following a 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

“I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am,” he wrote on Twitter at the time.external-link

“No-one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.”

A number of players in English football, including several of Rashford’s United team-mates, have also been targeted by online discrimination in recent months.

A number of clubs, players, athletes and sporting bodies took part in a four-day boycott of social media in April to encourage companies to take a stronger stance against racist and sexist abuse.

Earlier this month, United said it found a 350% increase in abuse directed towards its players, with 3,300 posts targeting them during the period from September 2019 to February 2021.

The club has set up an online reporting system, encouraging fans to flag up online abuse.

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