United condemn racist abuse of Young on social media

April 17, 2019

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Manchester United's Ashley Young looks dejected after the match on Tuesday in Barcelona. — Reuters
Manchester United's Ashley Young looks dejected after the match on Tuesday in Barcelona. — Reuters

Manchester United have condemned racist abuse of their defender Ashley Young on social media in the aftermath of their Champions League elimination at Barcelona.

Young was targeted on Twitter following United's 3-0 quarter-final second-leg defeat on Tuesday.

The foul abuse of Young brought swift condemnation from United, who said in a statement: “Manchester United utterly condemns racist social media comments posted around yesterday's Champions League fixture.

“We are working to identify individuals involved and we will take the strongest possible action we can against them.

“There is no place for racism within our game, or in society as a whole, and we are committed to working to make football free from all forms of discrimination.”

The 33-year-old was partially at fault for Barcelona's first goal as his clearance was blocked, leading to Lionel Messi scoring as the hosts went on to win 4-0 on aggregate.

Anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out called upon the social media platform to act following a series of incidents.

The organisation said via its own Twitter account: “Yet another black player, this time Ashley Young, targeted with racist abuse on social media after tonight's Champions League game.

“Again, we're left asking @TwitterUK the same question — when will you take serious action to tackle the rampant discrimination on your platform?”

Twitter was swift to respond, confirming that the posts concerned had violated its abusive behaviour policy and that the account holders would be required to remove them before they could tweet again.

Premier League stars Mohamed Salah, Danny Welbeck, Raheem Sterling, Michy Batshuayi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Moussa Sissoko have all received abuse over the same platform in recent years.

England's black players were subjected to repeated chants during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last month, while Tottenham defender Danny Rose revealed recently he has “had enough” of racism in football and “can't wait” to quit the game.