Brentford have revealed striker Ivan Toney was once again subjected to racist abuse on social media following his equaliser against Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday.
Toney’s controversial strike – his goal should have been ruled out by VAR for offside against Christian Norgaard, who set him up – secured a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, denting the Gunners’ title charge and prompting a vile online reaction.
A post on the Bees’ official Twitter account on Sunday said: “Immediately after Brentford’s game against Arsenal, Ivan Toney received a barrage of abusive, racist direct messages via his Instagram account.
“We are disgusted and saddened that Ivan has had to deal with this yet again.”
The Premier League condemned the latest attack on Toney and vowed to support the player and his club.
A statement on the governing body’s official Twitter account said: “No one should have to face abuse of the kind received by Ivan Toney. It has no place in football or society. We are supporting Ivan and the club with investigations.
“The Premier League condemns all forms of discrimination. Football is for everyone.”
Kick It Out added: “We are disappointed to be commenting on more social media abuse but this vile, shameful behaviour has to end.
“No one should be expected to deal with any form of discrimination, let alone the continued barrage of racism that Ivan Toney has been subjected to. It has no place in our game, and no place in our society.
“How much more online abuse should we ask players to endure before social media companies and the government step up to tackle this problem?
“This latest incident shows once again why social media companies need to introduce meaningful reforms that protect those who play, watch and work in football. That includes a default option for hate filters being ‘on’, meaning people only see that content if they switch the filter ‘off’.
“We are disgusted by this abhorrent racism and will continue to work with partners across football to ensure that swift and appropriate action is taken against anyone responsible for perpetrating discriminatory abuse.
“We urge the government to act swiftly to pass legislation that protects people from online abuse.”
Toney revealed in October last year that he had been targeted on Instagram after scoring both goals in a 2-0 league victory over Brighton.
He shared screenshots of a direct message, in which he was called a ‘black c***’, on his Twitter account, adding: “I wasn’t even going to post this but I woke up angry.”
Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, condemned the abuse at the time, but said it could not take take action because the message had not been reported within the app.
Police were called in and Antonio Neill, 24, of Robert Street, Blyth, Northumberland, admitted a charge of sending an offensive message to Toney at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court last month.
A “disgusted and ashamed” Neill, who will be sentenced in March, apologised in court for a post which was not read out, but which was described as “exceptionally offensive” with “racial overtones” by district Judge Paul Currer.
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