Four arrests have reportedly been made over the racist abuse aimed at England stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after their penalty misses in the Euro 2020 final.
The trio were targeted by racist trolls after the final, with online abuse of this kind becoming a real problem in recent times.
Thankfully, it looks like the matter is being dealt with as the Evening Standard report on four arrests being made in relation to the messages sent to these players.
It’s tragic to still have to think that hate crimes like this are a reality in 2021, with society perhaps not progressing as much as many of us thought.
It seems clear that social media companies need to do more to stamp this stuff out, and let’s hope the law handles this like they’d handle if it this had been racist abuse shouted at someone in the street.
In a statement issued to the PA news agency, The UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) said: “Following England’s defeat against Italy on Sunday a torrent of racist comments aimed at some of the team’s black players appeared on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“A hate crime investigation is under way by the UKFPU, with a dedicated team of investigators working their way through a large number of reports from across the country.
“So far, dozens of data applications have been submitted to social media companies and four people have been arrested by local police forces.”
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council football policing lead, said: “The racial abuse aimed at our own players following Sunday night’s game is utterly vile and has quite rightly shocked and appalled people across the country.
“Our England team have been true role models during the tournament, conducting themselves with professionalism and dignity. I’m disgusted there are individuals out there who think it’s acceptable to direct such abhorrent abuse at them, or at anybody else.
“The UKFPU investigation is well under way and work continues to identify those responsible. We are working very closely with social media platforms, who are providing data we need to progress enquiries.”