Premier League stars urged to QUIT Twitter by former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor, who deletes social media account after racial abuse February 8, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Gabby Agbonlahor has urged Premier League stars to follow his lead and boycott Twitter as numerous footballers are racially abused online.
The former Aston Villa striker deleted his account on the social media platform after receiving racial slurs, while Manchester United duo Axel Tuanzebe and Lauren James were targeted on Instagram over the weekend.
There have been calls for Twitter, Instagram and other social media apps to demand identity verification when people are creating accounts in an attempt to stop hateful messages.
Explaining why he deleted his Twitter account, Agbonlahor told talkSPORT: “Seeing it happen so much and how easy it is and the lack of punishment… I’m siting here thinking, players, sports stars, people in general should boycott the app.
“Maybe that’s what needs to happen.
“I just deleted the app off my phone, it’s gone, because there needs to be something bigger that’s done. We’re seeing there’s not enough punishment.
“It’s something that us as individuals can do to make a change.
“They’re not going to be bothered about me not being on there, but if the big Premier League and world stars come off Twitter, I’m telling you now they would change their settings.”
Last week, Arsenal legend Ian Wright expressed his disappointment after 18-year-old Patrick O’Brien avoided a criminal conviction for racially abusing him on social media.
A statement issued by Wright read: “I’ve seen today’s judgement and I’m disappointed. This case was never about revenge, it was always about consequences for acts of racism.
“My forgiveness of this young man was for my own deeply personal need and desire to move forward without anguish.”
He continued: “The supposed immaturity and naivety of out attackers is never any comfort. So yeah I am disappointed. I’m tired. We are all tired.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger revealed he was racially abused online after the Blues sacked Frank Lampard.
“My conscience is clear,” said Rudiger. “I know I did not do all that nonsense. I am open for every new coach, as I was open also for Mr Lampard.
“I cannot control people’s emotions but people should be human beings. I didn’t post anything but the racial abuse was immense. This makes me stronger because I know who I am and I can look in the mirror and smile.
“Of course if hurts but, in this case, I just block it out because I know I didn’t do anything.”