Troy Deeney has revealed that he experiences “30 to 40 incidents” of racist abuse online each week.
The Birmingham City forward has urged all professional footballers to report any case of racism to football authorities and the police so that the large number of cases cannot be ignored by the government and social media companies.
“Whether it’s a photo of me, my wife, the kids, there are no limits to people’s anger,” he said. Sky Sports News, confirming that he “easily” receives up to 40 racist messages online each week.
“I am a pot individual, some people love me, some people don’t. You can talk about my football as much as you want – I just don’t understand why you have to talk about my skin color or try for that. I feel less like an individual of color.
Whether it’s a photo of me, my wife, the kids, there are no limits to people’s anger.
“There’s an angry kid inside of me who wants to break everything, then there’s a side of me that gets sad and it’s probably the age and the parent in me that’s just like ‘that’ is a sad situation when people can go online and say what they want, how they want and there is no repercussion for that.
“If I were to react and say the same level of abuse, I would be on Sky, I would be everywhere, there would be punishments for me – but there is none for these people.
“My daughters are very young, they are very aware that being children of color – they are different from other people. It is very strange to have a conservation with a six or seven year old to make them feel that they belong, whether it’s being in schools or in any capacity – “why isn’t my hair the same as this girl’s, why is my skin different?”
“It should just be that we are all different but we all go to the same schools. When you hear these comments online you think it’s sad that they are going into this.”
Deeney was speaking at a special police event at the Birmingham training ground, where the UK’s first Hate Crimes Football Officer gave a presentation on how players can report racist incidents that ‘they undergo.
“When you’re a young player you don’t realize how much support you have,” added Deeney.
“In football you are made to feel like your superhuman – ‘I’m tall, I’m strong’ – so you never want to be labeled as a victim.
“You don’t want to feel like you’re a victim or complaining because it’s rated as weak, so it’s all about breaking down barriers and understanding that talking to a player liaison or your agent doesn’t mean you’re weak, it just means you’re probably preventing someone else from feeling the pain you’re currently feeling. “
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