Yan Dhanda: Racist abuse aimed at Swansea City player was 'very surprising', says Mal Benning

Mansfield Town defender Mal Benning 'very surprised' by racist abuse aimed at Swansea's Yan Dhanda; Benning hopes abuse does not discourage Asians from playing football; English football's governing bodies co-sign letter to social media companies demanding action

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Mansfield Town defender Mal Benning was 'very surprised' to see Swansea's Yan Dhanda receive racist abuse on social media after their FA Cup defeat by Manchester City

Mansfield Town defender Mal Benning says he was "very surprised" to see Swansea's Yan Dhanda receive racist abuse.

Dhanda was the target of racist abuse following Swansea's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup - the latest in a long list of recent incidents of footballers receiving abuse on social media.

Manchester United's Axel Tuanzebe, Manchester United Women's Lauren James, and Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger and Reece James are among the players who have been racially abused on social media in recent weeks.

Benning himself was the subject of racist abuse on Twitter in January of last year, and said: "Obviously I've seen recently that Tuanzebe and (Marcus) Rashford have been abused, and it's even been happening in the women's game.

"But then when I saw that Yan Dhanda had been abused, I was quite taken aback by it. They (Swansea) were playing on a big platform against Manchester City in the FA Cup and there aren't many Asians in the game.

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Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari says social media companies are in the best position to tackle online racism, but must have the determination to address the issue

"I've reached out to Yan and he's alright. There aren't many of us Asians in the game and I don't want it to discourage any young Asians from getting into the game because they think that's what it's like.

"It's obviously a small minority but also it's quite disgusting to see it happen as well and everyone wants to see it stamped out as soon as possible."

English football bodies have come together to send an open letter to Facebook and Twitter demanding action, amid the increased levels of abuse aimed at footballers and officials on social media.

Axel Tuanzebe, Lauren James and brother Reece have all been subjected to racist abuse on social media in recent weeks 2:09
Chi Onwurah, the Shadow Minister for Science, Research and Digital, says the government must implement legislation to tackle online abuse

The Premier League, FA, EFL, WSL, Women's Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL and Kick It Out have all co-signed the letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder, chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerburg, asking them "for reasons of basic human decency" to use the power of their systems to end the abuse.

The letter said: "The language used is debasing, often threatening and illegal. It causes distress to the recipients and the vast majority of people who abhor racism, sexism and discrimination of any kind.

"We have had many meetings with your executives over the years but the reality is your platforms remain havens for abuse.

"Your inaction has created the belief in the minds of the anonymous perpetrators that they are beyond reach. The relentless flow of racist and discriminatory messages feeds on itself: the more it is tolerated by Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, platforms with billions of users, the more it becomes normal, accepted behaviour."

Yan Dhanda was racially abused on social media following Swansea's FA Cup defeat to Man City 0:40
Brighton manager Graham Potter says Dhanda, his former player at Swansea, will not be beaten by racist abuse he received on social media

Potter: Dhanda won't be beaten by racism

Brighton manager Graham Potter says Dhanda, who played under him at Swansea City, will not be beaten by the racist abuse he received on social media.

Potter called the abuse "very sad and very disappointing" but said the player has the character to deal with it.

"The one thing I do know is that it won't beat Yan Dhanda," said Potter. "He's a fantastic boy and sadly he's probably used to it because that's the sort of world we live in.

"It shouldn't happen of course but I know the boy and I know it won't affect him."

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