Paul Pogba has vowed to fight against racism “for the next generation” after finding himself the target of online trolls.
The Manchester United midfielder was subjected to racist abuse on social media after missing a penalty during Monday night’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Wolves.
His teammate Marcus Rashford suffered similar attacks after also missing from the spot during Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace, while Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Reading’s Yakou Méïté have also been targeted recently.
On Sunday, Pogba said on Twitter: “My ancestors and my parents suffered for my generation to be free today, to work, to take the bus, to play football.
“Racist insults are ignorance and can only make me stronger and motivate me to fight for the next generation.”
The spate of abusive posts prompted anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out to call for “decisive action” against offenders. Kick It Out’s statement on Saturday said: “The vile racist abuse on social media continued today. This problem will not go away and needs decisive action – that’s what we’ll be making clear to Twitter when we meet. Without immediate and the strongest possible action, these cowardly acts will continue to grow.”
Twitter officials, who claim to have permanently suspended a series of accounts as a result of racist posts, have already agreed to meet Manchester United officials to discuss the Pogba incident.
Speaking after Saturday’s game, which Palace won courtesy of Patrick Van Aanholt’s injury-time strike, Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted he was “lost for words”. The United manager said: “It’s the same we spoke about before the weekend. It’s unheard of and we need it to stop, it needs to stop.
“I’m just lost for words if it keeps going. We keep having all these campaigns ‘No to Racism’ and it keeps hiding behind fake identities. It’s just crazy that we talk about this in 2019.”