The PFA is appalled that Marcus Rashford has received a barrage of racist abuse following Manchester United’s appearance in the Europa League final. Marcus shared that he had counted ‘almost 70 racial slurs’ on his social media accounts and expressed his outrage that one of the perpetrators using emojis to send abuse was a current Maths teacher.
Despite nationwide boycotts and irrefutable evidence of the extent of the abuse aimed at players, social media companies are still not doing enough to protect players. Once again, we are calling for the government’s Online Safety Bill to be enacted as soon as possible so that social media companies can be held to account.
Almost 40% of members who took part in the PFA’s recent survey with Good Morning Britain told us racist abuse negatively impacted their mental health. Players are tired of empty platitudes. Social media companies have repeatedly failed to address racism on their platforms and neglected their moral responsibility to those who use them.
It is clear that strong legislative intervention is the answer. The government’s Online Safety Bill must include regulations that make preventing, detecting and removing discriminatory abuse non-negotiable requirements for all social media companies. We believe this is the only way to ensure players, and all communities, are better protected online.
Supporting our members will always be our number one priority. We urge any players struggling with the emotional impact of online abuse to call our confidential helpline for dedicated support. 0800 368 8484.