Skip to content

Eddie Nketiah: Twitter permanently suspends account after abuse towards Arsenal striker

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah told to 'leave' club in racist message on social media; Twitter "permanently suspends" account referenced; Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham: "How do you explain to a black footballer that pirated content is taken down in minutes but not racist abuse?"

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The Premier League is working with social media companies to find a way to stop online abuse, says chief executive Premier Richard Masters

Twitter has permanently suspended an account that was used to send racist abuse to Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah.

The 21-year-old was sent a racist message telling him to leave the Gunners in response to a training picture he posted ahead of the Europa League tie against Benfica, with the caption "working with a smile".

Social media companies have been under pressure to inflict harsher punishments on accounts that violate their rules, especially discrimination.

A spokesperson for Twitter told Sky Sports News: "Racist behaviour has no place on our service and when we identify accounts that violate any of the Twitter Rules, we take enforcement action. The account referenced has been permanently suspended."

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football summit on Thursday, Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham called on authorities and social media companies to "wake up" and not "underestimate the impact abuse has individuals".

He said: "We have to take this opportunity as a wake-up call. Increasingly this type of abuse towards black players is becoming normalised. I think this a moment in time.

"There is psychological support to our players. [We] pro-actively track abuse players get. We support our players around when they want to take action and report it to the police. We do a lot.

Also See:

"[But] we can't do this alone. How do you explain to a black footballer that pirated content is taken down in minutes, but not racist abuse?"

The Premier League, FA, EFL, WSL, Women's Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL and Kick It Out all co-signed a letter earlier this month 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.

Facebook-owned Instagram announced new measures, including the removal of accounts to prevent abusive messages on its platform and developing new controls to help reduce the abuse people see.

Twitter has also given users greater control over their conversations including allowing users to choose who can reply to conversations they start.

      Leno: I was told to 'do it like Enke'

      Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

      Arsenal's Bernd Leno says many social media comments are intended to 'make you feel bad', and admits he no longer looks at them

      Bernd Leno says he stopped reading comments on social media after he was once told to copy Robert Enke, the former Germany goalkeeper who died by suicide in 2009.

      "Of course I have a lot of experience with that, here and also in Germany. There was one thing that kept in my mind, it was crazy," Leno told Sky Sports News.

        "I had a very bad game and then one guy on social media said to me 'do it like Enke'.

        "Since I read this I realise that there are so many stupid people on social media. That is the reason I don't read it even when everything is good. I don't need that, it doesn't make me better, it is wasting time.

        "There are so many fake people that hide behind their computers to make you feel bad. Many times with racism, abuse to families, I don't like it, I don't read it. It affects your life, what is the point?"

        Xhaka racially abused by 'season-ticket holders' - study

        Arsenal...s Granit Xhaka during the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at the Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, England, Saturday Jan 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)..
        Image: Granit Xhaka has been repeatedly racially abused on Twitter, according to the study

        Arsenal season-ticket holders racially abused midfielder Granit Xhaka on Twitter, an investigation has claimed.

        Xhaka and other Premier League players were targeted during a month-long study as analysts aim to reveal the 'true life identities' of prolific abusers on social media.

        Analysis by Signify, a data science company, has revealed 16 instances of targeted racist abuse towards Xhaka, including posts from accounts who 'self-identify as Arsenal season-ticket holders', in December last year.

        Arsenal have told Sky Sports News they take the "strongest possible action" against any abuser that is linked directly to their season ticket or membership database.

        The study has also revealed homophobic abuse towards Arsenal's Hector Bellerin.

        Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

        Jonathan Hirshler of data science company Signify explains how they can provide football clubs and authorities with the evidence needed for sanctions against online hate

        In response to the report, an Arsenal spokesperson told Sky Sports News: "We all need to work together to drive online abuse out of our game and off our social networks.

        "The effect on individuals can be very deep and we work closely with our players and staff to help them deal with the impact. This includes support from sports psychologists and our social media team.

        "As a club, one of the biggest challenges we face is identifying the perpetrators and linking them directly to our season ticket or membership databases. When we do have that information, we take the strongest possible action. This includes reporting to the police and membership bans from our club.

        "Ultimately we all have to work together to stop the abuse and we fully support the Premier League's recent statement calling on social media platforms to take more action to prevent abuse appearing online, including requiring all users to be subject to a verification process."

        Hate Won't Stop Us

        Sky Sports is committed to making and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.

        For more information, please visit:

        Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

        This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media

        If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and/or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class please copy the URL to the hateful post or screengrab it and email us here.

        Kick It Out reporting racism

        Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

        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.

        Win £250,000 with Super 6!
        Win £250,000 with Super 6!

        Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 in Saturday's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3:00pm.


        Around Sky