Sheffield United have condemned racist abuse directed on social media at their striker David McGoldrick.
The Republic of Ireland international, who scored twice in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Chelsea, wrote “2020 and this is life” as he shared a screengrab of a racist message sent to him.
A club tweet said: “We will support David McGoldrick and will do all we can to find the perpetrator of this disgusting message. We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the person behind this post is brought to justice. This cannot continue. Something needs to change.”
McGoldrick was one of the driving forces behind the decision for all players and staff to take the knee before games when the Premier League restarted. Sheffield United played Aston Villa in the first game after the pause and McGoldrick spoke about it to his captain, Billy Sharp, who arranged with Villa for everyone to take a knee.
“It’s about education,” McGoldrick told TalkSport a few weeks later. “Educating the young for the future and it will be a better world. People are thinking that Black Lives Matter is taking the limelight. It’s not about that, we want to be equal. We know all lives matter.
“We want to be equal in sport, equal in the world, equal everywhere. There’s big meaning behind it and we’re not just doing it for attention. It’s a real situation on our hands. To see in all sports, everyone kneeling before the game, it’s a powerful message.”
The abuse of the Sheffield United striker comes a day after West Midlands police arrested a 12-year-old boy in relation to racist abuse sent to the Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha on social media. Zaha, 27, had posted screenshots on Twitter from messages sent to his Instagram account before Palace’s Premier League fixture at Villa on Sunday.
West Midlands police said in a statement on Twitter on Sunday: “We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy.
“The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken to custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated.”
The Palace manager, Roy Hodgson, speaking after his side’s 2-0 loss at Villa Park but before news of the arrest, described it the post as a “cowardly, despicable act”.