Bright Osayi-Samuel wrote it was "disgusting and painful to receive messages like this"; Kick It Out condemns "unacceptable" abuse; QPR asking Instagram to assist them in identifying the individual concerned; Instagram say they 'will be taking action'
Wednesday 30 December 2020 16:40, UK
Bright Osayi-Samuel has revealed he was racially abused on social media after QPR's 1-1 draw with Norwich on Tuesday night.
After the match, in which Osayi-Samuel scored QPR's equaliser from the penalty spot, the 22-year-old posted on his Instagram account a screenshot of the abuse he had received, describing it as "disgusting and painful to receive messages like this".
The message also included threats to his family.
In a statement to Sky Sports News on Wednesday morning, QPR CEO Lee Hoos said: "We completely deplore the abhorrent abuse Bright has been subjected to.
"It astounds me that people feel they can freely post such comments without any fear of reprisal. We are working with Instagram and asking them to assist us in identifying the individual concerned.
"I do feel social media platforms have a duty of care to its users who are victimised in this way."
A statement from the Metropolitan Police confirmed no arrests have yet been made but that an investigation into the matter is under way.
"Police are aware of an Instagram post made on Tuesday, 29 December," the statement said. "We were subsequently contacted on Wednesday, 30 December by a third party about a report of racial and abusive messages sent via social media.
"Officers will now endeavour to make contact with regards to making a report. The matter is currently under investigation. At this early stage there have been no arrests."
When approached by Sky Sports News, Instagram said: "This contravenes our community standards. We will be taking action against the account and post."
QPR director of football Les Ferdinand added: "This type of abuse on social media is too commonplace and has to stop.
"In a society that now rightly places greater importance on mental wellbeing than ever before, how can people be able to set up anonymous social media accounts?
"This will continue and continue until we stop it from being possible.
"I believe governing bodies across sport - not just football - need to come together to create a powerful voice which calls for social media platforms to change their stance."
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Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out also condemned the behaviour and want Instagram to review their policy for direct messages.
Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari said: "The abuse that Bright Osayi-Samuel received on Instagram [on Tuesday night] was unacceptable. We want to see this matter investigated and the appropriate action taken against the individual behind this post.
"We also believe Instagram need to review their policy for direct messages and consider cutting them off, unless accounts are following each other. It isn't right that anyone can send abusive messages to whoever they want, especially when there is a solution to prevent it.
"We will continue to work closely with social media companies to improve policies and practices. As we've said before, this is partly a technological problem so will require technological solutions.
"We will hold social media companies to account until the right changes are made to give greater protection to players moving forward."
Meanwhile, Police Scotland are investigating DNA swabs from a racist letter that was sent to Kilmarnock manager Alex Dyer, while the club are working with the force to identify the individuals involved.
The Scottish Premiership club received a letter on Monday morning following the 2-1 home defeat to Livingston on Boxing Day.
Tottenham defender Ryan Sessegnon recently spoke out about the abuse he was subjected to on social media after making his debut for Hoffenheim during his season-long loan spell with the club.
A Professional Footballers' Association survey has shown players overwhelmingly support continuing to take a knee.
The PFA sent a questionnaire to all its members asking whether it should continue after a series of incidents where fans booed the anti-racism gesture, and how best the leagues, clubs, and players should express the anti-discrimination message.
The results showed that 80 per cent of players 'support continuing this act of solidarity despite any adverse responses that may be received', with over 400 responses to the survey.
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