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Brentford condemn ‘vile harassment’ of striker Ivan Toney on social media

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Brentford condemn ‘vile harassment’ of striker Ivan Toney on social media

Brentford have condemned the “vile harassment” of Ivan Toney after the England striker was the target of online racist abuse.

The Premier League club also labelled the response of social media companies to such incidents as “underwhelming”.

Toney, 27, has previously received racist comments on Instagram posts and Brentford are now calling for more to be done after another case occurred.

“We are angered and frustrated to report that Ivan Toney has been subjected to racist abuse on Instagram once more,” a club statement read.

“We have initiated investigations into this vile harassment which we condemn in the strongest terms.

“Sadly, this isn’t the first time Ivan has had to deal with this. A similar incident occurred just four weeks ago, leading us to identify an alleged perpetrator whom we reported to the authorities. To date, we have yet to see any action taken against that individual.”

The Bees called for anyone found to have posted racist comments to be prosecuted and help bring an end to such incidents in the future.

“In general, the response from social media platforms to these ongoing issues has been underwhelming,” the statement continued.

“Their solutions, such as filters to simply hide the abuse may safeguard the players, but miss the mark entirely and do not discourage the offenders. Without real consequences for those responsible, the cycle is doomed to repeat.

“We do have faith that things can change. We appreciate the dialogue that we have with the likes of Meta but we call for more decisive and urgent action to combat online hate. We call for prompt investigations, and importantly, we call for criminal prosecutions.

“We will continue to work with the authorities and the Premier League and to support our players as we tackle this awful online abuse.”

Meta said there was no place for racism on any of its platforms and reiterated the ways it is trying to counter abuse.

“No one should have to experience racist abuse, and we don’t want it on our apps,” a Meta spokesperson told the PA news agency.

“We’ve developed several ways to help protect people from having to see abuse including Hidden Words, which filters offensive comments and DMs and Limits, which hides comments and DMs from people who don’t follow you or only followed you recently.

“We know no one thing will fix abusive behaviour, but we’re committed to continuing working closely with the football industry to help keep our apps a safe place for footballers and fans.”

Toney’s one and only England cap to date came in a Euro 2024 qualifying win over Ukraine last year and the national side posted on X, formerly Twitter, in support of the player.

“It is incredibly disappointing that Ivan Toney has been subject to racial abuse on social media again,” the England account posted.

“This behaviour must have consequences, and we support strong action by the authorities and social media companies.”

A Kick It Out statement read: “Brentford’s Ivan Toney is among a long list of players who’ve been racially abused this season whether online or in stadiums.

“In addition to the trauma they’ve suffered, the players all want the same thing: action. That comes in the form of prosecutions, or bans or even education. But if nothing happens, other abusers are emboldened to do the same thing, or worse.

“We need more positive outcomes to these incidents from clubs, from leagues, from governing bodies and from the police. We work hard with them all to underline this message, but we ask that they all show how often they bring people to justice. We need more transparency.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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