JLS star Aston Merrygold says social media abuse has given him ‘thick skin’

JLS star Aston Merrygold said he has developed a “thick skin” after being subjected to abuse on social media.

He told the BBC’s Morning Live it has been “very difficult” to deal with.

He was speaking after England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were racially abused on social media after missing penalties during the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

The Prince’s Trust Awards
Aston Merrygold (Victoria Jones/PA)

When asked about social media abuse, Merrygold told the programme: “It’s very difficult and for me personally, I’ve experienced things like this since I was a young boy and it’s given me tough, thick skin coming into this industry.

“Especially an all-black boy band as well, it was never going to be easy for us, and it hasn’t been, but we kept strong.”

He added: “For me, I can brush it off, I can, I suppose, succeed, that’s the best way to kind of silence people.”

Last year Merrygold revealed his son, then aged two, was targeted by racist trolls online.

He told Morning Live: “When my son is subjected to that, I was never ready for that in my head.”

Almost Never
Amber Davies (Lia Toby/PA)

Love Island’s Amber Davies also discussed her experience of being online after starring in the programme.

She told Morning Live social media “wasn’t half as big as it is now” when she went on the show in 2017.

“I didn’t struggle but it was a huge eye-opener when I stepped out of that villa, so I can only imagine what it would be like now,” she said.

“I just think, as long as these contestants have a really good support system, then they should be OK.

“At the end of the day, no-one should have to deal with this.”