Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford says he faced “at least 70 racial slurs” on social media after his team’s loss to Villarreal in the Europa League final in Gdansk.
Villarreal won its first major trophy 11-10 on penalties after a 1-1 draw following extra time in Wednesday’s final.
“At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far,” Rashford tweeted, less than 90 minutes after the game finished. “For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying.”
Rashford added he was “outraged” that he was sent “a mountain of monkey emojis” in a message from a person using a profile that identified them as a teacher.
I’m more outraged that one of the abusers that left a mountain of monkey emojis in my DM is a maths teacher with an open profile. He teaches children!! And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence…
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) May 27, 2021
A Manchester United spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that the club was “disgusted by the online hate and abuse aimed at Marcus Rashford and other players on social media after last night’s game”.
“There is simply no excuse for it and we utterly condemn it,” the statement read.
“Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and we encourage people to report it through manutd.com.
“We also urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this disgusting behaviour.”
In January, United Kingdom police investigated abuse on social media aimed at a number of United players. Rashford and two teammates said they had been targeted.
“Yes I’m a Black man and I live every day proud that I am,” he wrote at the time. “No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.”
English football clubs and players boycotted social media for four days in April and May to protest against racist abuse and push for more action from the companies that run the platforms.
Figures from other sports, including Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and the International Tennis Federation, also joined the boycott.