Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has called for stiffer punishment by the authorities for people who engage in racism irrespective of age and gender.
The Ivory Coast forward reported yesterday that he has received an abusive message by Aston Villa fan ahead of Palace’s 2-0 defeat at Villa Park.
The Athletic NG reported this morning that the West Midlands Police have arrested a 12-year-old Villa supporter who is behind the message on social media.
Zaha thank the police for their swift action by arresting the suspect and those who stood by him while stressing that it is not the first time he has been targeted with abusive messages.
“Very disappointed we didn’t get a better result yesterday but I wanted to come on here to thank you for all your messages of support. I would also like to thank West Midlands Police for their swift action in making an arrest. People need to understand that whatever your age, that your behaviour and your words come with consequences and you cannot hide behind social media.
“It is important social media platforms do as they did yesterday and seek out these individuals and remove them. This is not the first time I have received messages like this, nor am I the only player to receive messages like this – it happens every day.”
Zaha, 27, calls for stiffer punishment and education for the situation to change.
“I want to thank everyone for the love and support but enough is enough! It is not enough to be disgusted by these messages I received and move on. It isn’t enough to just say #notoracism. We need action, we need education, things need to change.”
The Premier League says abusive “behaviour is completely unacceptable,” stating that the league will with Wilfried Zaha in opposing discrimination of any form.
“We will continue to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse.”
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