Gabriel Agbonlahor thinks sports men and women should force social media companies to change by boycotting some platforms, after the former Aston Villa striker deleted his own Twitter account.
Manchester United footballers Axel Tuanzebe and Lauren James both received racial abuse online over the weekend, while referee Mike Dean had death threats sent to his family.
They were the latest in a recent trend of online incidents, with United pair Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, Chelsea defender Reece James, West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas among those who’ve been victims of racist comments in the past month.
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Agbonlahor has come off Twitter after receiving slurs himself, and he believes social media platforms would do more to crack down on offenders if sport’s biggest stars did the same.
“Seeing it happen so much and how easy it is and the lack of punishment”, he told talkSPORT.
“I’m sitting here thinking, players, sports stars, people in general should boycott the app. Maybe that’s what needs to happen.
I just deleted the app off my phone, it’s gone, because there needs to be something bigger that’s done. We’re seeing there’s not enough punishment.
“It’s something that us as individuals can do to make a change.
“They’re not going to be bothered about me not being on there, but if the big Premier League and world stars come off Twitter, I’m telling you now they would change their settings.”
As well as racial abuse, referee Mike Dean had death threats sent to his family on social media, after two red cards he handed out in the past week were overturned. It’s reported he’ll sit out the next round of Premier League games as a result.
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