Les Ferdinand tells social media giants to stop vile racists as Ian Wright speaks out

By Sports Desk May 12, 2020

Former England striker Les Ferdinand has challenged social media giants to tackle racism on their platforms with the ruthlessness they have showed towards COVID-19 conspiracy theorists.

Arsenal great Ian Wright became the latest high-profile footballer to complain about being targeted for abuse, which has led to a police investigation in Ireland.

Now Ferdinand, who starred in the Premier League for QPR, Newcastle United and Tottenham, says racism from keyboard warriors will persist unless stringent steps are taken by tech giants.

He told Stats Perform: "One of the things I've been looking at, with all this COVID situation, I'm seeing things taken down off social media where people put an opinion about what they think COVID-19's all about, and that's been taken down off YouTube, that's been taken down off Facebook.

"All this sort of stuff has been taken down, but they allow racist abuse to float freely through their channels.

"Until these people decide to do something about it, this problem will remain."

Representatives of major English football authorities met with several social media companies last year in an effort to press the point about players being targeted online.

Wright complained of being abused on Instagram, while players including Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, Watford striker Troy Deeney and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha have faced vile remarks on a number of platforms, based around their skin colour.

The problem is widespread, and Ferdinand wants there to be greater accountability.

He said: "You can set up a social media account with it being [identifiable as] you and you can racially abuse people.

"Let's remember some years ago it was seen as part of parcel [of football] for people to go into a stadium and racially abuse people of a different background to them and it was accepted.

"People could do monkey chants and people could throw bananas on the pitch and then walk out at the end and that was it.

"This is another avenue. They can't do it in the stadiums too freely now because you've got CCTV cameras and we have people who may do something about in it in the stadiums.

"But from sitting behind a keyboard it's easy to throw out these things - and I continue to say racism isn't a problem in football, it's a problem in society."

Now director of football at QPR, Ferdinand played for the club from 1987 to 1995, a time when racism inside grounds was rifer than it is in the modern era.

He said: "Football has just been a medium in the past where people go and vent it without any repercussions.

"So those same people that were doing it back then - okay, generations have changed, but there's still racist people in society and they'll find a way to be racist, and this is the easiest way to do it without any identification going back to that person."

Related items

  • Madrid confirm Kroos injury following tests Madrid confirm Kroos injury following tests

    Real Madrid have confirmed Toni Kroos suffered a muscle injury in the 3-2 LaLiga win over Real Betis on Saturday. 

    The Germany international had to be substituted in first-half stoppage time in Seville, Luka Modric coming on to replace his fellow midfielder. 

    Following tests on Monday, Madrid announced Kroos has an issue in the gluteal region, though did not reveal how long the 30-year-old will be sidelined. 

    “Following tests carried out today on our player, Toni Kroos, by the Real Madrid medical services, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury to the left gluteus medius," a statement from the club read.  

    "His recovery will continue to be assessed." 

    Zinedine Zidane's squad are next in action on Wednesday, hosting Real Valladolid, while the reigning champions travel to Levante at the weekend. 

    Kroos could also be a doubt for a trio of upcoming international fixtures. Germany play Turkey in a friendly on October 7, followed by Nations League games against Ukraine and Switzerland during the break. 

     

  • Beierlorzer left 'disappointed' as struggling Mainz sack coach Beierlorzer left 'disappointed' as struggling Mainz sack coach

    Mainz have announced the departure of head coach Achim Beierlorzer following back-to-back losses at the start of the new Bundesliga season.

    After a 3-1 defeat at RB Leipzig in their opener, Mainz were beaten 4-1 at home by newly promoted Stuttgart on Saturday.

    Beierlorzer made sure the club retained their top-flight status in the previous campaign, having taken over in November 2019 shortly after losing his job at Cologne.

    However, following talks involving sports director Rouven Schroder and chairman Stefan Hofmann on Sunday, Mainz have decided to make a change.

    "I am disappointed with the club's decision. Nonetheless, I wish Mainz and the team all the best for the future," Beierlorzer said.

    Assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte takes charge on a temporary basis; his first game in charge will be against Union Berlin on Friday.

    "Jan-Moritz Lichte has the technical expertise, more than 10 years of experience as a coach and of course knows our team inside out," Schroder said.

    "We therefore trust him to lead our team into the rest of the season. The new role also gives Jan-Moritz Lichte the opportunity to implement his ideas for our football and to develop and profile himself as a leader.

    "We will include his development in our decision on the future filling of the coaching position and give him and us the necessary time for this."

     

  • More expected of Haaland than Lewandowski at Dortmund - Kehl More expected of Haaland than Lewandowski at Dortmund - Kehl

    The expectations on Erling Haaland at Borussia Dortmund are higher than they ever were for Robert Lewandowski when he joined the club, according to former BVB captain Sebastian Kehl. 

    Haaland made an electric start to his Dortmund career after signing from Salzburg in January, scoring 16 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions for the club in 2019-20. 

    The 20-year-old striker hit a double in their season-opening game against Borussia Monchengladbach but struggled in the 2-0 defeat to Augsburg on Saturday, managing just one shot on target and 19 touches across the entire game. 

    It was a significant dip for Haaland, who has been touted to follow in the footsteps of Lewandowski, who spent four seasons at Signal Iduna Park between 2010 and 2014. 

    "Lewy came to us as a great talent at the time. Haaland, on the other hand, already arrived in Dortmund at a very high level – and with a very different reputation than Lewandowski did at the time," Kehl, who played alongside Lewandowski for Dortmund and now heads up the club's licensed player division, told Kicker. 

    "We had been waiting for a player like him [Haaland]. The hopes placed in him were accordingly immediately high." 

    While Haaland settled straight in, Lewandowski had to fight Lucas Barrios for a place in the first team after arriving from Lech Poznan. 

    However, he has since developed into one of the leading strikers in the world, scoring 55 goals as Bayern Munich claimed a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble last season. 

    "For Lewandowski, the 2010-11 season was not easy. He and Barrios didn't always get along well. Lewy had to fight for his place and prevail," said Kehl. 

    "Lewy is so consistent, so complete, almost never injured – for me he is one of the best in the world. A great player." 

    Haaland and Lewandowski will go head to head when Dortmund take on Bayern in the DFL-Supercup on Wednesday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.