Thierry Henry has confirmed he will be removing himself from social media until platforms start taking steps to regulate racist abuse online.
The former Arsenal striker said: “From tomorrow I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.
“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There HAS to be some accountability.”
Over the last number of months, we have seen professional footballers being subject to unacceptable discriminatory online abuse. The PFA is committed to holding social media networks to account and will continue to demand a safer space for players.
In 2020, a PFA six-week study into online abuse identified over 3,000 explicitly abusive messages aimed at players. 56% of all the discriminatory abuse identified during the study was racist. This data is powerful in demonstrating the extent of the online abuse, but also highlights a lack of thorough monitoring on behalf of the networks.
Recently the PFA joined the Premier League, EFL, WSL, LMA, PGMOL and Kick It Out in sending a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s founder, chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, amid continuing levels of abuse aimed at footballers on social media. As a collective - players, clubs, and football’s stakeholders- are now working together as part of a joined-up approach to tackling online abuse.
The PFA has dedicated and specialist support available, we urge any players who are struggling with the emotional impact of abuse, to make contact and access support.
- PFA Online Abuse Helpline: 0800 368 8484
All calls will remain private and confidential and our experienced team will direct you to the appropriate level of support for your needs.