Anthony Martial: Man Utd forward receives racist abuse online after West Brom draw

Anthony Martial racially abused on Instagram on Sunday following Man Utd's draw at West Brom; Instagram announced tougher sanctions on abusive messages last week; Kick It Out's Troy Townsend said the latest abuse made a "mockery" of the company's pledge

Manchester United's Anthony Martial during the Premier League match at the Hawthorns
Image: Manchester United's Anthony Martial was targeted with racist abuse on social media

Anthony Martial was racially abused on social media after Manchester United's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

Martial played 66 minutes before being replaced by Mason Greenwood as United came back to level against West Brom after going behind inside two minutes.

After the game, Martial was subjected to abuse on his Instagram account, with a number of users posting racist messages and symbols on his photos, and using the N-word.

Instagram's parent company Facebook confirmed to Sky Sports News they swiftly removed comments and accounts that broke their rules and are continuing to investigate.

They say they do not allow content that attacks people based on their race, ethnicity or national origin and if they find content that violates their policies then they will remove it.

Instagram recently announced that they will impose stricter penalties, including the removal of accounts, to prevent abusive messages on its platform, following recent racist abuse directed towards footballers.

It comes after Martial, along with team-mate Axel Tuanzebe, was abused after the team's loss to Sheffield United on January 27.

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says action must be taken to stamp out the racist abuse that a number of footballers have suffered

Kick It Out's head of development Troy Townsend described the latest abuse as "predictable" and said it made a "mockery" of the pledge Instagram made last week to impose stricter penalties on users that send abusive messages, including removing their accounts.

Townsend tweeted: "Let me break my Sunday silence and just say here we go again. It's so predictable now, it makes a mockery of Instagram's comments.

"I wonder if this account will be barred for a month and collect their 'Insta slap on the wrist' and 'don't do that again' talk."

Facebook - which owns Instagram - was criticised last week by Swansea City and Yan Dhanda after the company decided not to shut down the account of a user that sent racist abuse to the midfielder.

Instead, Facebook opted to temporarily disable the account, saying "we think it's important people have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes."

Stoke's James McClean also revealed an abusive direct message he received online on Sunday that read: "Don't make me set your house on fire and burn everyone inside it."

James McClean has allegedly been training in a private gym
Image: James McClean received an abusive message on Sunday

On Sunday, McClean said "the silence from everyone is deafening!"

Last weekend, United joined Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton to issue a joint statement condemning racist abuse as more players, such as United's Marcus Rashford and Southampton teenager Alex Jankewitz, were targeted on social media.

'Man Utd want social media clampdown'

Sky Sports News' North West reporter James Cooper...

"Clearly, this isn't just a Manchester United issue but the club are absolutely sick and tired of what's becoming a growing problem.

"Of course, they condemn it, the players are disgusted by what's going, but they're also working with the game's authorities and tech platforms to confront this issue properly.

"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's had his say in recent days and his view on the racism being directed towards his players reflects that of the club's - put very simply, if you're a racist then you're not a Manchester United fan. The two things aren't compatible.

"The problem from United's perspective is that talk only gets you so far - remember, this isn't just something that's affected the men's team, it's affected the women's team too. What they want to see is a proper clampdown on abusive posts by the social media companies."

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Kick It Out reporting racism

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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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