Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt has revealed that the racist abuse he suffered on social media last month was the result of a lost bet.
Van Aanholt was targeted on Instagram after Palace’s 0-0 home draw against Manchester United in the Premier League on March 3, in which he had a late chance to win the game but was refused by the keeper opposing Dean Henderson.
The 30-year-old highlighted the abuse he received on his Instagram story, adding the caption ‘why we kneel’. Instagram said it deleted the offending account and took steps to prevent the user from returning to the platform.
Speaking of the abuse he received in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports NewsVan Aanholt explained: “It was right after the game against United and I missed that chance.
“Someone posted a bet on us to win the game and me to score – unfortunately I didn’t score and he lost his bet. He abused me on social media.
“I was home after the game, relaxing with my family and saw the message. I replied to portions of my story, just to show people that she is still there.
“It didn’t affect me the way he wanted me to be affected, but it’s not nice to call people that. I think we have to call them and that’s what I have. made.”
Van Aanholt is one of many English football players to have fallen victim to racist abuse online, while Valencia grabbed the headlines last weekend as they left the pitch after defender Mouctar Diakhaby fell victim of racist abuse by Juan Cala de Cadiz.
“I don’t know what to say – why are we talking about racism in 2021?” Van Aanholt added. “It’s just ridiculous – it’s crazy.
“But it’s not just in the Premier League, it’s everywhere – it’s in La Liga, France. It has to stop. Everyone should be calling them.”
Van Aanholt has had happier times on the pitch this season, in which he was Palace’s first-choice left-back as Roy Hodgson’s side once again moved closer to Premier League status .
The south London side could be in for a busy summer, however, with Hodgson and many of his team – including Van Aanholt – seeing their contracts expire at the end of the season.
The Netherlands international has been linked with a move to Arsenal and although he insists he is “happy” at Selhurst Park, he has not made a commitment on his future at the Palace.
“I’m in no rush to make decisions,” Van Aanholt said. “I am focused on Palace and focused on the very good end of the season.
“After that, I hope I go to the Euros with Holland, and then I will make a decision on what will happen.
“Everyone knows I’m happy at Palace. I’m here to play football. There are eight games left and I will do my best every game. After those eight games are over, we’ll see what happens.”
The first of those eight games is against Chelsea on Saturday – live on Sky Sports – in which Van Aanholt will clash with the club that brought him to England from PSV in 2007.
Van Aanholt – who only played eight times for Chelsea before joining Sunderland seven years later after a series of loan moves – believes his former club’s 5-2 loss to West Brom last weekend was simply a failure, saying: “Before West Brom they were undefeated in so many games and they kept so many clean sheets so I think the manager knows what he’s doing and he knows what he expects from his team.
“The team is adjusting to it so I think it’s working really well for them. They’re a top team – they’re still in the top five.”
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