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Axel Tuanzebe: Manchester United defender racially abused on social media after Everton draw

AP
Image:Axel Tuanzebe was racially abused on social media after Manchester United’s 3-3 draw with Everton

PA
Image:Antonio Rudiger says he was racially abused on social media after Frank Lampard’s sacking at Chelsea

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe was subjected to racist abuse again on social media following Saturday’s draw with Everton.

Tuanzebe was targeted with racist comments on Instagram after Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a late equaliser for Everton in a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford.

Sky Sports News has contacted Manchester United and Instagram for comment.

It is the second time in recent weeks that Tuanzebe has been subjected to racist abuse online.

The 23-year-old was also targeted last month after the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United, along with his United team-mate Anthony Martial.

Tuanzebe posted a video on his Instagram account after that match, with the caption: “My RACE My RELIGION My COLOUR=FOOTBALL”, in a defiant response to the abuse.

Manchester United said they were “disgusted” with the comments on social media after the Sheffield United match and later released a joint statement with Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City condemning the abuse endured by multiple professional footballers in recent weeks and months.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Burnham has called on social media companies to “step up” and hold themselves accountable if and when racist abuse is reported on their platforms.

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says social media companies face “large fines” which could total “billions of pounds” from the UK government if they fail tackle abuse on their platforms.

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“We are willing to take the harder, legislative measures,” Dowden told the BBC.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has revealed he has also been subjected to racist abuse on social media by fans who blamed him for the departure of former head coach Frank Lampard.

Reports claimed that Rudiger had encouraged the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge to replace Lampard but the Germany international has dismissed those suggestions as “nonsense”.

Chelsea have confirmed they are investigating the online abuse against Rudiger and “will pass any relevant information to the police”.

“I have been in the club into my fourth season and I have had four different coaches, with (Thomas) Tuchel now, and it was never talked about when (Maurizio) Sarri left the club or when (Antonio) Conte left the club that players were involved or something like this,” Rudiger told Chelsea’s website.

“My conscience is clear. I know who I am and I know I did not do all that nonsense that came out and for me in my head, I am very free. I am open for every new coach, as I was open also for Mr Lampard.

“I cannot control people’s emotions but people should be human beings. Me, I didn’t post anything but the racial abuse was immense. This makes me stronger because I know who I am, I can look in the mirror and I can smile. I know I didn’t do anything so for me this is forgotten.

“For me in life it is very important I can look in the mirror, I see myself, I know who I am. Of course it hurts but in this case I just block it out because I know I didn’t do anything.”

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Rudiger believes social media companies “don’t really care” about tackling the issue of online abuse.

“To be very honest I don’t know about all these social media things but I think the more people who make accounts, they make money off it,” he added.

“So me personally, I think they don’t really care because as you know, this money has power so the rest doesn’t matter, so it is hard to tell if people will make a change on that.

“I feel sorry for that but I feel more sorry for people who are not strong enough so it really affects them. Of course it affects me in a way too but it is just in a way that makes me think that people are not normal, people I am sorry to say are just stupid.”

Sky Sports News has contacted Facebook and Instagram for comment.

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Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

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