Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has vowed to remove himself from all social media until platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram take more serious action against racism and other abuse.
Henry suggested that, as things stand, the companies are quicker to take action against copyright infringements than they are to the toxic behaviour that is poisoning the platforms.
In a statement posted online, Henry said he will be coming off social media “…until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.
“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There has to be some accountability. It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous.
“Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I’m hoping this happens soon.”
Within football alone, racist abuse directed at players through social media after games has become a distressingly common occurrence, despite the anti-racism movements that have garnered worldwide attention over the past year.
Most Premier League players continue to kneel before games out of respect and support for Black Lives Matter and there are countless recent examples of reprehensible vile abuse.
Last month, a court in Ireland spared a teenager a criminal conviction despite admitting sending racist abuse to former England and England striker Ian Wright via Instagram the previous year. Wright personally forgave the perpetrator but expressed his disappointment that the judge presiding over the case decided against any form of punishment for the actions.
“Seeing this judgement, I can only wonder what deterrent there is for anyone else who spouts this kind of vile racist abuse,” Wright said at the time.
“An individual wished death upon me because of my skin colour. No judge’s claims of ‘naivety’ or ‘immaturity’ will ever be acceptable to us. The supposed immaturity and naivety of our attackers is never any comfort.”
Ex-Manchester City defender turned top pundit Micah Richards recently made a documentary for Sky TV called Tackling Racism in Football that was released last month, highlighting the abuse that still persists in football, as well as discussing deep rooted racism in society as a whole