Former England international, Eni Aluko says she has received online racist abuse targeted at her and family after commenting on the UK government’s furlough scheme amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Eniola is the sporting director at Aston Villa Women and tweeted on Tuesday and Wednesday, suggesting that the government’s furlough scheme “is needed but has created a culture of do-nothing entitlement”.
The former Chelsea forward, apologised last week stating that her opinion was not intended to offend people, adding: “I have no interest in being a source of further public upset.”
In a series of posts on social media, Aluko says she has received a stream of abuse and her family have been singled out.
“Tweeps, so we are going have to talk about that F-word again,” Aluko wrote on Twitter.
THREAD-Tweeps, so we are going have to talk about that F-word again. Despite my public apology about causing offence and misunderstanding, the last 3 days I have received abuse, racism, abuse to my family and people finding phone numbers of my family to send further messages.— Eniola Aluko (@EniAlu) May 17, 2020
“Despite my public apology about causing offence and misunderstanding, the last 3 days I have received abuse, racism, abuse to my family and people finding phone numbers of my family to send further messages.
“Now, I will say this one last time. My tweet was referring to other “tweets” by SOME people taking advantage of the furlough system and bragging about it on twitter. At NO point did I mention Brits or all people on furlough or the entire nation. Let’s get that very clear.
“None of my tweets were racist, sexist, homophobic, contained profanities or were abusive. At worst it was misworded in a hurry out of annoyance. Which I have apologised for and deleted. But I’ll be damned if as a result I accept my family receiving further abuse.
“If you remain offended, it is your choice. I can’t help you. I am not looking for sympathy. I encourage you NOW to unfollow/block/mute my account if you do not like what you see. No problem in the slightest.
“I accept as a high profile person the position comes with critics and dislike. No problem. Success comes with opposition However I’ll reiterate that some high profile people have recently taken their own lives as a result of online abuse and trolls. It starts here on Twitter.
“I have had fathers with daughters in profile pics go out of their way to message me the most horrendous things. If your daughters received such disgusting words online would you be happy???? Think about it.
“Again, feel free to go back to my tweets from 17-20 March endorsing/applauding the economic safety net furlough brings for hard working people in UK during this pandemic. I have family and friends in the same boat. I am with you, and we are all in this together.
“This is already a difficult time. We, including me, need to be conscious of spreading encouragement, love, support not negativity and hate. Easy to write #BeKind but let’s all try and live it in our actions.
“Wishing you all positivity, support, encouragement and strength whilst we navigate these unprecedented times.”
The furlough scheme will see employees in the UK receive 80 percent of their monthly wages, up to a limit of £2,500, while staying at home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed more 32,000 lives and the scheme has recently been extended through to October.
Aluko was born in Lagos, to Nigerian parents Gbenga and Sileola and represented the England Women national team, making 102 appearances before retiring in 2018.
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