Manchester United duo Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial suffered racist abuse on social media following their side’s loss to Sheffield United on Wednesday night.
Tuanzebe, 23, notched his first league start to the season, having previously appeared in Champions League matches, as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned his starting XI for the Blades’ visit. Forward Martial has been a regular starter for the Red Devils in recent seasons and has scored two league goals this season.
Tuanzebe was late substituted as the hosts looked to equalize, but goals from Kean Bryan and Oliver Burke ultimately saw Chris Wilder’s side win the clash 2-1 at Old Trafford.
After the match, a number of social media users posted racist comments to Tuanzebe and Martial’s Instagram accounts, including monkey emojis. Tuanzebe, 23, who went through United’s youth academy, also deleted his Twitter account.
The abuse drew criticism from United players, with Harry Maguire tweeting: “United Against Racism. We will not tolerate it. ”
Midfielder Scott McTominay added: “My brother. Disgusted with what I read this morning. ”
United issued a statement Thursday. It reads: ‘Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game.
“We categorically condemn him and it is encouraging to see other fans condemning this on social media as well.
“Manchester United have zero tolerance for any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaign against it through our All Red All Equal initiative.
“Identifying these anonymous and insane idiots remains problematic. We urge social media platforms and regulators to step up measures to prevent this type of behavior. ”
In September, at the start of the 2020/21 season, Kick It Out revealed a 42% increase in reports of discrimination in professional football in England. Reports at Kick It Out went from 313 in 2018/19 to 446 in 2019/20.