Gareth Bale prepared to boycott social media after Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango online racist abuse

Bale says he would join collective social media boycott if "everyone did it at once"; Wales team-mates Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango received online abuse on Saturday; former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry recently called social media "too toxic to ignore" and disabled accounts

Gareth Bale in action for Wales
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Gareth Bale says he would be open to joining other players in a collective boycott of social media after two of his Wales team-mates were racially abused on Instagram following their victory over Mexico at the weekend

Wales forward Gareth Bale says he would be prepared to join a social media boycott to tackle online abuse after Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango were racially abused on Saturday.

Police in Cardiff are currently investigating the origin of the abuse aimed at Cabango and Matondo following Wales' win over Mexico.

After the game, Matondo took to Twitter to post a screenshot of racist messages he had been sent on Instagram. He said: "And it continues... another week of @instagram doing absolutely nothing about racial abuse.

In response, a spokesperson for Facebook - which owns Instagram - told Sky Sports News: "We don't want racist abuse on Instagram and have removed the accounts that sent these messages to Ben Cabango and Rabbi Matondo this weekend."

Last week, former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry described racism on social media as "too toxic to ignore" and over the weekend, he disabled all of his accounts following the recent instances on the platform.

PA: Ben Cabango and Rabbi Matondo 0:53
Wales caretaker boss Rob Page says the racist abuse sent to Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango is unacceptable and that the focus this week is on making sure the duo are OK

When asked if he would consider boycotting social media platforms, Bale said: "If everyone did it at once, not just one or two people, I would.

"If it was a campaign where a lot of influential people in sport and other forms of life on social media make a statement, then I think it could help.

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"If that was the case, I'm all for that."

Live World Cup Qualifier

Cabango and Matondo join a growing list of black players who have been subjected to online abuse in recent weeks. Manchester United quartet Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford and Fred have all been targeted, with the latter saying "we cannot feed that culture" after being racially abused last weekend.

Bale, speaking ahead of Wales' World Cup Qualifier against the Czech Republic on Tuesday, specifically addressed the messages sent to his team-mates and argued social media needs accountability.

Wales' Gareth Bale during the international friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Saturday March 27, 2021 (PA Image) 1:05
Bale says it needs to be easier to trace the originators of such posts

"It wasn't nice to wake up on Sunday to hear these things," Bale said. "Ben, Rabbi and anyone else knows we are here to support them, we are behind them and if they need to talk to us at all we are here.

"It's very disappointing and something needs to happen in terms of the social media companies. To get an account, you need to put your passport in.

"I think that will stop people saying things because then you will be able to trace them down and hold them accountable."

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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

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