Marcus Rashford insists online abuse should be “easy to stop” and has called on social media companies to eradicate the problem.
The Manchester United and England forward has been among a group of players targeted online in recent weeks.
The Football Association has vowed to work with the Government and social media platforms to eradicate racism from the game.
Humanity and social media at its worst. Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here 👊🏾
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) January 30, 2021
“Online abuse should be easy to stop,” Rashford told Sky Sports. “You just deactivate the accounts.
“It’s very easy to make four or five accounts but if you’ve got to block them out you block them out.
“I feel that’s on the actual social media companies themselves – Instagram, Twitter.
“If they see anyone that’s being racially abused or abused in any way their accounts should be deleted straight away.
“That’s one way of getting rid of most of it, if not all of it.”
Rashford’s United colleagues Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial have both suffered online abuse.
Defender Tuanzebe, 23, has twice been on the receiving end after recent games against Sheffield United and Everton.
“I spoke to Axel when it happened to him,” Rashford said. “Axel is a tough lad and it’s not nice to hear those things.
“But he’s bounced back, he always turns up to training happy and smiling and works hard, and that’s what we’re here to do.
“I know it sounds bad to say, but from our perspective we see if it’s not us that gets the abuse it could be somebody else from another team, or somebody else from another country.
“Wherever you are in the world you can be targeted by this kind of abuse. The way that you deal with it, and the way that you move on.
“That’s where you have to show strength and that you’re mentally capable to deal with such things, even though you shouldn’t have to because it shouldn’t be happening.”
Rashford has 4.2million followers on Twitter and uses social media as a force for good.
The 23-year-old has become an anti-poverty campaigner and successfully lobbied the Government into a U-turn over its free school meals policy in England.
He has pledged to end child food poverty and make sure the next generation start life with a level playing field.
“I feel it (social media) doesn’t affect me as much other people,” Rashford said.
“I’m not active on social media, I only go on it on occasions to spread messages, congratulate somebody or post messages about the team. Throughout my every day life I’m not on it.
“It doesn’t have as much an effect on me as it does other people, but it should be a place where people should be happy and just enjoy it.
“It wasn’t here 10-15 years ago and we’re privileged to have it, to connect with people all over the world with different cultures and religions.
“To see people use it in a negative way is stupid. Hopefully they can sort out that issue and it can be a place of good and happiness.”