After Bukayo Saka missed a penalty for England’s national team on Sunday in the UEFA Champions League final, he and several teammates were overwhelmed by a wave of racist abuse.
On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, people posted monkey emojis and racist symbols to insult Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, all black players who missed the penalty kick. their penalty shootout against Italian opponents. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince William and others were quick to criticize the ugly racist comments, especially against a team that has become a symbol of Britain’s racial diversity. .
On Thursday, 19-year-old Saka spoke out for the first time since Sunday’s final. In one declare on Twitter, he condemns the online bigotry he and his players have faced. After saying how disappointed and saddened he was with the loss, Saka took to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, urging them to do more to stop the abuse.
“For the social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I don’t want any child or adult to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I, Marcus and Jadon received this week, “Saka wrote. “I immediately knew the kind of hate I was about to receive and it is a sad fact that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.”
Saka’s comments add to the growing call for platforms to take action against hate speech.
On Wednesday, Mr Johnson said he had warned representatives from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat that they would face fines under planned UK online safety legislation if they did not. remove hate speech and racism from their platform.
The Football Association also released a statement saying that “social media companies need to step up and take responsibility and take action to ban abusers from their platforms, collect evidence that can lead to prosecution and assist in making the platform free of this kind of heinous abuse.”
Facebook and Twitter have long struggled with hate speech on their platforms. Last year, during the Black Lives Matter movement and just months before the presidential election, civil rights groups urged advertisers to boycott Facebook if it didn’t do more to tackle malicious speech. and misinformation on its site.
The issue became especially hot last year before the presidential election, when President Donald J. Trump spread disinformation about voting and made veiled threats against lawmakers. In January, after a violent mob flooded the US Capitol, Twitter and Facebook banned Mr. Trump from their platforms for statements they said were likely to incite further violence.
Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saka’s post.