Ian Wright says he is “fighting all the way” after revealing he has been subjected to vile online racist abuse online.
Former Arsenal and England striker Wright was sent a number of Instagram messages, with leading anti-racism charities condemning the conduct.
An Instagram user messaged Wright with racist taunts prompting the 56-year-old to take to Twitter.
He wrote: “I know I’m not meant to look at them but these messages still hit me so hard man. This is a child!!! This kid as a direct line into me & is able to send this without any worry.”
He later added: ”There has to be some form of consequence. I’ve got a platform where I can reach people. This is happening to people on a daily basis where they can’t do what I did – that’s why I had to call this guy out.
“We’re dealing with people that need to hide. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter are where they can hide but, what they haven’t understood and what that guy will have realised today is, it’s not my platform – it’s everybody who has come in on him. Something has to be done. He was relentless with it as well.”
“I don’t want this happening to my kids,” he told No Signal radio. ”I’m fighting this one all the way.”
Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby condemned the abuse.
“Ian Wright has put his head above the parapet again and I saw him on Match of the Day with Gary Lineker a few weeks ago talking about the racist abuse he suffered as a player. I’m sure he will be more than happy to report it.
“There was an Asian reporter (Sima Kotecha) yesterday for the BBC and she was abused in the middle of Leicester.
“It shows racism is society’s problem and unfortunately it has been on the rise. People having been staying at home but it doesn’t stop them them abusing people on social media and this is a shocking example of that.”
Former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor was also sent an abusive and racist message on Instagram and Kick It Out called for those who targeted him and Wright to be punished.
“We are appalled during this very trying time by the disgraceful abuse directed at Ian Wright and Gabriel Agbonlahor and their families,” a statement read.
“Racial hate speech and violent threats are totally unacceptable but have become sadly normalised on social media.
“Whilst we continue to collaborate with social media platforms to ensure a safer user experience for all, these cases should be investigated by law enforcement and the abusers should face criminal sanctions.”
Additional reporting by PA
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