London (AFP) – Marcus Rashford says he was racially abused on social media following Manchester United’s defeat in the Europa League final.
The 23-year-old, who has previously been a victim of online attacks, said he had received “at least 70 racial slurs” following United’s penalty shootout loss to Villarreal in Gdansk on Wednesday.
United, who lost 11-10 on penalties, later tweeted to say their players had been subjected to “disgraceful racist abuse”.
“At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far,” Rashford wrote on Twitter. “For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying.
“I’m more outraged that one of the abusers that left a mountain of monkey emojis in my DM is a maths teacher with an open profile. He teaches children!! And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence…”
Last month English football, along with other sporting bodies, united for a four-day social media boycott to urge the companies to take a stronger stance over racial abuse.
Speaking before the latest incidents of abuse, England boss Gareth Southgate praised the job players had done in highlighting the issue.
“I do think there has been progress over the last year on the issue of racism because social media is just in general a poor reflection of what happens through society,” he told the BBC.
“But the reality is if it wasn’t social media these situations are happening on our streets at certain times.
“(The players) have used their voice in a very positive manner, in particularly the last 12 months. We have to keep fighting racism.”