Manchester United have sanctioned six people for alleged social media abuse of Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son after their 3-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 11.
Tottenham condemned the ‘heinous’ racist online abuse sent to Son after the South Korean forward was involved in a controversial VAR decision that ruled out an Edinson Cavani goal in the Premier League shock.
Twitter said Sky Sports News they have deleted many posts for their racist content following the alleged abuse of Son and continue to look into the matter.
Manchester United has issued suspensions, subject to appeal, to six people for the alleged abuse, including three season ticket holders, two official members and one person on the season ticket waiting list.
The club conducted their own analysis to understand the extent of social media abuse ahead of this weekend’s boycott.
A period of silence on social media platforms, initially announced by a coalition of England’s biggest governing bodies and organizations, but now spanning most of the sports industry, will run from 3 p.m. on Friday at 11:59 p.m. on Monday May 3 and aims to combat abuse and discrimination.
United have found that since September 2019 there has been a 350% increase in abuse directed at the club’s players. Of these abuses, 86% of the messages were racist in nature, while 8% were homophobic or transphobic. In January 2021, a peak of 400 abusive messages was recorded.
United revealed that “the vast majority of racist messages contained either the N word (and spelling variations) or emojis used with racist intent (monkey, chimpanzee, banana, gorilla).”
The study also found that fans are being targeted for abuse on social media with an increase in abuse among fans since the summer of 2020, 43% of these abusive posts were racist in nature, 7% were homophobic or transphobic.
Richard Arnold, chief executive of the group, said in a statement: “We have been campaigning actively against discrimination for some time as part of our All Red All Equal initiative. The level of support we have received for this work from our fans has been extremely encouraging, but these numbers show that despite this, the level of abuse our players and fans are receiving is on the rise.
“It must be said that if these figures are shocking, they only represent 0.01% of the conversations that take place on social networks about the club and the players.
“By participating in this boycott this weekend, we want, alongside the rest of English football, to shed light on the issue. It will generate debate and discussion and raise awareness of the levels of abuse our players and supporters are suffering from. . “
Earlier this month, United launched their anti-discrimination campaign, SEE RED, which called on fans to celebrate the contribution of black and Asian players at the club and to report discriminatory behavior.
The club have also implemented a new online reporting system for fans to use available through manutd.com/seered.
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