Harry Maguire: Manchester United defender says he looks out for team-mates suffering online hate

Watch the full interview with Maguire on Renault Super Sunday; Manchester United vs Tottenham, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm (kick-off 4.30pm)

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Manchester United and England defender Harry Maguire says social media companies must tackle online hate - which is taking over people's lives

Harry Maguire says he has learned to ignore online hate through "age and experience" and offers support to Manchester United's younger players to help them deal with abuse on social media.

United midfielder Paul Pogba was targeted with racist abuse online last season after failing to score a penalty in a 1-1 draw versus Wolves.

Maguire and Marcus Rashford, who suffered similar abuse in August last year, backed up team-mate Pogba, and Maguire urged Twitter and Instagram to verify accounts with a passport or driving license in order to stop trolls abusing people.

Last month, Kick It Out revealed that levels of abuse had seen a 42 per cent increase, concerning reports of discrimination in the professional game last season.

Maguire maintains that action needs to be taken by social media companies to identify accounts which are responsible for hateful comments, and says he offers counsel to United's less experienced players in order to help them rise above the negativity.

He told Sky Sports: "I try and look out for them [his United team-mates] especially the younger lads like Mason [Greenwood] and Brandon [Williams]. They have a great team here in terms of looking after them.

"We are fortunate here to be such a good club with a great team who after the young boys.

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"It needs to be looked at and changed, for me you can't be making accounts on social media under false names. If you verify an account its something that can be solved pretty simply, I don't know why it hasn't been [done already]."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Harry Maguire has his full support and will remain Manchester United captain.
Image: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Harry Maguire has his full support and will remain Manchester United captain this season, following his arrest in Greece this summer

'I've dealt with hate through experience'

Maguire has recently faced criticism on social media.

Over the summer, he was handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence after being found guilty by a Greek court of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated attempts of bribery. Maguire and his legal team have since had an appeal for retrial accepted, with United confirming in a statement: "This means that Harry has no criminal record and is once again presumed innocent until proven guilty."

The 27-year-old believes he has learned over time not to allow abusive comments online affect him, no matter what is said.

He explained: "For me personally, the best thing is to ignore everything and try not to look at things to be honest, I stay away from a lot of social media comments and things like that.

"As a young lad, you are more worried about things and what's being said, for me now anything can get said about me and I'm not bothered, it probably bothers my family more than it bothers me. I think you get better with experience and good help around you.

"But I think its tough especially for people who go from nothing to being a superstar and all of a sudden they're in the limelight.

"The amount of hate they get from showing how they live and things like that and the comments they receive, its tough for them and its hard to start with, but I can only say I've got better with age and experience."

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Tackling abuse on social media is football's biggest problem, says Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari after the organisation recorded a sharp rise in reports of discriminatory abuse.

Maguire backs Sky's anti-online hate campaign

Maguire has also given his support to Sky Sports' campaign, Hate Won't Stop Us, aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media.

He added: "First and foremost I am really happy Sky are taking it into their own hands to look into it [online hate], and try and sort it out a little bit for everyone who receives it which is more or less everyone who steps on a football pitch or a celebrity or anyone who is well known.

"I think it is something that needs to be addressed, it has got to a level now where the hate and the social media is taking over people's lives.

"I feel myself, I deal with it well, but I'm sure there is loads and loads of people out there who are struggling with it and don't say anything.

"It is all because you get people creating numerous accounts spending all day on social media commenting and trying to bring people down.

"It's great that Sky are looking into it and something can get sorted because its about time something did and social media [companies] need to start acting as well."

Watch the full interview with Maguire on Renault Super Sunday as Manchester United take on Tottenham live on on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm, (kick-off 4.30pm).

Sky Sports unites against online hate and abuse: 'It has to stop'

"It's not OK to say some of the things that people say on social media. It has to stop."

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.

Presenters from football, boxing, F1, basketball, Sky Sports News and horse racing are among those who are sharing their own experiences to highlight the extent of this abuse on digital and social sites and the damage it can cause.

In a video produced by Sky and published on the day Sky Sports announced a campaign against online hate, the presenters are united in saying 'enough is enough' and that it's time for the hate to stop and for everyone to be able to enjoy sport.

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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.

Hate Won't Stop Us

Sky Sports is committed to making skysports.com 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: www.skysports.com/hatewontstopus

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.

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