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Saka calls out social media giants for ‘not doing enough’

London (AFP) – England winger Bukayo Saka told social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook they must do more to stamp out racial abuse after being targeted in the wake of his Euro 2020 final penalty miss.

After the 19-year-old’s spot-kick was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma to seal Italy’s triumph at Wembley on Sunday, the Arsenal star was targeted by trolls online along with teammates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who also missed penalties.

“To the social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus and Jadon have received this week,” Saka said in a post on Twitter on Thursday.

“I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive, and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.

“There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society and to the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win.

“Love always wins.”

Saka had been one of England’s breakout stars as the Three Lions reached a first major tournament final for 55 years.

Yet there was a sour end to his Euro experience. 

After Rashford hit the post, Donnarumma saved from Sancho and then Saka to crown Italy champions and condemn England to another heartbreaking loss on penalties.

“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty. I really believed we would win this for you,” wrote Saka, who is likely to be part of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad for Qatar 2022 in just 16 months’ time.

“I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring it home for you this year, but I promise you that we will give everything we’ve got to make sure this generation knows how it feels to win.

“My reaction post match said it all, I was hurting so much and I felt like I’d let you all and my England family down.

“But I can promise you this… I will not let that moment or the negativity that I’ve received this week break me.”

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  1. Nosferatu

    July 16, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    The idiot that invades the pitch does get caught and get in trouble, though, so it’s not like they’re fully ignored. Just by the cameras.

    And the thing about these companies, Twitter and Facebook/Instagram, is that they have so much money that they certainly could employ a bunch of people (or develop/integrate some program) that actually policed this kind of activity. But that’s if they really, truly cared.

  2. Yespage

    July 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    But the individuals that do it aren’t given any coverage at all. It is merely reported that it is happening.

  3. Angelito

    July 16, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    “When an idiot fan invades the pitch, the TV cameras quite rightly turn away to ensure he doesn’t get the publicity he craves and to discourage others from doing the same. When a tiny number of idiots racially abuse players, we give them wall-to-wall media coverage. Go figure.”

  4. Yespage

    July 16, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Racism is an issue, but this is also much more about trolling, which can’t be controlled without moderation and that requires people, and you can’t amass that many people to moderate these posts. So it might be time for people to stop using social media.

    These guys missed PKs, they didn’t harm anyone or just shove the ball aside as protest. That they get hounded online is just the reality of the Internet and sports in general. People love boo’ing players, mostly out of jealousy. And they enjoy being a jerk. It is pathetic.

  5. Tom Emmerson

    July 15, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    As my then 5 year-old daughter once said about something else, it was a “trajesty,” which is how we feel about the abuse unleashed because three players missed their penalty shots.
    It reminds me way too much of the CHAVS and Yabbos of a long time ago (and the guy who stuck a hot dog up the rear of a police horse outside a Chelsea game).
    My wife and I were proud of the whole team’s performance.
    So, just wondering if the critics would be happier if Rashford, Sterling, Sancho and Saka were not chosen for the Olympics? These guys are top class in spite of the trolls. We are 84 and very white, but we want them on our team.

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