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Online abuse: Man City and England’s Alex Greenwood says players suffer online abuse …


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England and Manchester City defender Alex Greenwood says players are receiving abusive social media messages on a daily basis and the situation is getting worse.

Manchester United and England forward Lauren James shared a screenshot of abuse she had received on her Instagram early this month, labelling it as “boring now” and urging the platform to “do something”.

High-profile players in both the men’s and women’s game have been victims of racist abuse on social media in recent weeks, while Premier League referee Mike Dean was subjected to death threats following a controversial decision.

Mike Dean, Marcus Rashford and Lauren James
Mike Dean, Marcus Rashford and Lauren James have all been victim of online abuse in recent weeks

Greenwood says players have conversations around the issue and try to prevent online hate becoming an issue in their everyday lives.

“It’s a conversation that happens for sure. At Manchester City, we spoke about Lauren James’ situation [at Manchester United],” she said.

“Is there anything we can do to help her? Because she is a good friend of mine as well. It is something that is close to my heart.

“There are also individuals in our team, myself included, we read stuff on Twitter and Instagram and it’s not just Manchester derbies or big games. It’s on a daily basis, it’s how you learn to deal with it. It doesn’t affect me now as much as it would have four or five months ago.


Marcus Rashford says it should be easy to end online abuse and make social media ‘a place for good’.

“We have conversations about it, more on if there is anything we can do to help that person. How do we put it to one side? When it affects your daily life that is when it becomes a problem for me.

“I suppose it depends on the individual and how you react to stuff on social media. It’s quite easy for me to speak about now but I have been through it myself, it is not nice to see or read. I’ve seen the situation with racism and the moment, the situation with death threats to referees. It’s completely unacceptable.”

‘It’s getting worse, not better’

Greenwood believes the issue around online hate is becoming worse rather than better. She feels the tribal nature of football can sometimes lead fans towards crossing the line with personal abuse.

“I know that people support teams, have loyalty to clubs and that is fine – I do also. When it crosses the line and gets personal something has to be done, it is happening far too often now,” she added.

“It seems like it is getting worse, not better. Opinions on performances are always welcome, there is no issue with that, it’s part of the game. Not everyone is going to like how you play and who you play for. Crossing the line is unacceptable.”

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www.skysports.com 2021-02-17 14:50:00

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