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Greater Manchester Police investigate racist abuse of United players

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Greater Manchester Police have confirmed they have opened an investigation after several Manchester United players have been the target of racist abuse on social media in recent days.

Defender Axel Tuanzebe and striker Anthony Martial both found themselves facing a wave of horrific abuse following the 2-1 loss at the hands of Sheffield United, and Marcus Rashford became the last to be targeted after the 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

Axel Tuanzebe
Tuanzebe was viciously targeted after Sheffield United defeat | Visionhaus / Getty Images

“We are aware that a number of Manchester United football players have been abused on social media accounts between Wednesday January 27 and Saturday January 30, 2021”, continued a statement from GMP. Twitter.

“No one should be subjected to such abuse and it is deeply upsetting not only for those who suffer from it, but also for all who encounter this horrible language. These hateful words have no place in our society, whether online or otherwise.

“A number of these comments have been brought to our attention and we are liaising with those involved for support and we will fully investigate these crimes.”

Rashford described the abuse directed at him as “humanity and social media at its worst,” warning officials that his pride in his skin color would never be broken by some so-called fans online.

Of the abuse directed at Rashford, a Facebook spokesperson told the BBC: “There is no room for racism on Instagram and we are committed to removing it when we find it.

“We know there is more to do and we will continue to work closely with clubs, players and football authorities to investigate cases of discrimination and collectively address this issue.”

Racism and football continues to be a real scourge, but there has been a worrying increase in cases recently. Alongside the United trio, Antonio Rudiger and Reece James of Chelsea have both been targeted, while West Brom has also reported abuse of Romaine Sawyers to police.

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