Football legend Thierry Henry quits social media to fight racism, online bullying

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 26, 2021, 07:45 PM(IST)

Football legend Thierry Henry quits social media to fight racism, online bullying Photograph:( Getty )

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Footballing legend Thierry Henry on Friday announced that he will be quitting social media in a bid to take a strong stand against racism and bullying on social media platforms. Henry said he will be disabling his social media accounts till authorities take substantial action against racist comments.  

Footballing legend Thierry Henry on Friday announced that he will be quitting social media in a bid to take a strong stand against racism and bullying on social media platforms. Henry said he will be disabling his social media accounts till authorities take substantial action against racist comments.  

Henry, in a statement, said that "the people in power" are quick to react to copyright infringement but don't show the same "vigour and ferocity” when it comes to tackling or taking action against racism and online bullying. 

The former Arsenal forward said that it has become extremely easy for individuals to create accounts while remaining anonymous to "bully and harass” people while hoping a change will soon come. 

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Thierry Henry’s full statement: 

Hi Guys 

From tomorrow morning I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright. The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There HAS to be some accountability. It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous. Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I’m hoping this happens soon. 

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There has been plenty of debate on whether social media platforms and the top hierarchy are doing enough to tackle growing racism online. Borussia Dortmund recently had condemned racist abuse towards Jude Bellingham after he posted screenshots of comments on the photo-blogging platform Instagram. 

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“Social media platforms from our perspective clearly haven’t done enough to eradicate this problem, both from a technology perspective and from a monitoring perspective and finding out who is behind these accounts,” Jonas Baer-Hoffmann told AFP. 

Not only Bellingham, the likes of Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling among other prominent stars in football world have been subjected to racist abuse on social media.  

FIFPro's "Shaping Our Future" had highlighted the role played by footballers to fight for social justice but pointed at the prevalence of abuse inside stadiums.  

“Football overall has a significant problem with racism. At the moment we are so concentrated on social media, because it is getting worse, but also because we are not experiencing the same problems we had pre-Covid in stadiums because there are no people there,” Baer-Hoffmann added. 

“Before Covid came essentially we had reports every week about horrendous attacks on players in stadiums, and that problem will come back I’m pretty sure.” 

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