Despite an increased awareness campaign to combat racism in football, non-white, in particular, Black players are still on the receiving end of racist slurs and abuse online.
Fred, a Black footballer from Brazil, suffered these attacks from his club’s own fans after Manchester United lost to Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
Fred fights back
After the defeat, fans targeted a post by Fred on Instagram dated March 18 to abuse him. According to Sky Sports, Instagram eventually took down accounts related to the incident.
In response, Fred posted a photo on Twitter of him kneeling in front of a background that reads, 'No more racism.' As well, he wrote:
Social media comments filled with hate and, above all, racism: we cannot feed that culture. We cannot accept it. We have to fight it always. We are bigger and better than that. Enough!
The official Manchester United twitter account retweeted him with the caption, 'We stand together #UnitedAgainstRacism.'
Taking a knee
In the Premier League, players have been taking a knee before matches to combat racism in football and society. The kneeling first began last May after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
The gesture is a call back to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first took a knee during the pregame national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality.
As with the campaign, 'Say No to Racism,' that FIFA has used the past two decades, it is unclear how effective the messaging has been for fans across the world.