Willian is racially abused by TWO different users on Instagram in the wake of Arsenal’s draw against Benfica… with Brazilian winger stating ‘something needs to change!’
- Arsenal’s Willian is the latest Premier League star to share messages of abuse
- The 32-year-old shared screenshots of racist taunts he was sent on Instagram
- The Brazilian came on as a substitute for the Gunners against Benfica last night
- Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Eddie Nketiah have also been targeted
Arsenal winger Willian is the latest footballer to be a victim of racial abuse on social media as he revealed two different direct message threads on Instagram.
The 32-year-old Brazilian was a 90th minute substitute for the Gunners in the 1-1 draw against Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday night.
But on Friday, Willian posted on his Instagram story direct message threads from two different users where he was subject to racist abuse, in three separate messages.
Willian revealed he was subject to racist abuse on Instagram after playing for Arsenal last night
The Brazilian posted on his story the two different direct message threads on Instagram
All of them used racially offensive terms and expletives. Willian posted the abuse, saying: ‘Something needs to change! The fight against racism continues’, before later saying ‘One more’ alongside a screenshot of the second thread.
The abuse comes on the same day Arsenal supremo Vinai Venkatesham branded racist abuse on social media ‘the biggest problem in football’ after striker Eddie Nketiah became another player to be targeted.
Nketiah was urged to leave Arsenal in a racist post replying to a training picture he posted on Twitter ahead of Thursday night’s clash.
Anthony Martial has also been targeted in the past week after abhorrent gorilla emojis and expletives were seen on his Instagram following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with West Brom.
Arsenal supremo Vinai Venkatesham (left) branded racism as football’s biggest problem after Eddie Nketiah (right) became the latest footballer to be targeted on social media
A host of Premier League players including, Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Reece James and Romaine Sawyers have also all suffered online racial abuse in recent weeks.
Speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Football summit, Arsenal chief executive Venkatesham said: ‘The abuse of so many of our black footballers on social channels is probably and possibly the biggest problem we have in the game at the moment.
‘Footballers, referees and officials are all human beings and have feelings like anybody else and we really cannot overstate the impact that social media abuse can have on an individual.
Anthony Martial was also the victim of racial abuse after Man United’s 1-1 draw at West Brom with abhorrent gorilla emojis, and expletives seen on his Instagram account.
Kick It Out representative Troy Townsend slammed the abuse of Martial on Sunday night
‘We have to take this opportunity as a wake-up call. We are getting to a point where this type of abuse that a black footballer is getting is becoming increasingly normalised.’
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters added: ‘We simply cannot accept a situation that a professional footballer is expecting or accepting online abuse, racial or otherwise.
‘Of course, we speak to social media companies who are making some efforts but it is not working so we have to find new ways forward to really stop it at source.’