Arsenal football legend, Thierry Henry has stressed that he is tired of talking about racism because talking seems not to be changing anything over the years.
The retired football icon recently disabled his social media accounts in protest of the increasing rate of racists abuse on the platform. He believes that the rate at which people are abused and bullied on the internet can not be reduced or stopped if actions are not taken.
The 45-year-old retired France international had said he would not return to social media if the owners of the platform don’t make it safe and free from hate which means that the football icon might be off the internet for a while.
Days after removing himself from social media, Thierry Henry had an interview with Watford striker Troy Deeney via The Sun. In the interview, the French star said racism has been taken from the stands in stadia to the Social Media environment.
Thierry Henry argued that though racists on social media claimed that they have freedom of expression, they can’t go to an airport, a cinema, or a police station and start shouting. He, therefore, urged that there should be accountability for what people do or say on social media.
He recalled how Crystal Palace striker, Wilfried Zaha was racially abused on social media by a 12-years-old and wondered how the child was able to get an account on social media at such a tender age.
“It wasn’t just yesterday, the day before yesterday, or the day before the day before yesterday. It’s been going on forever”, Thierry Henry said.
“In football, racism used to come from the stands. You play for Watford so you know how big John Barnes is, not only for Watford but for the game. I saw stories of John Barnes when I was young, of Marius Tresor when I was growing up in France.
“There are lots of stories. You have them. I have them. Everybody has them.
“But I talk, we talk, I talk, we talk, I talk, we talk. “What was it?” “How did you feel?” “Did you sleep well that night?” “Did you wake up well?” I talk, we talk, I talk, we talk – I’ve had enough of talking.
“I’ve had enough of talking, Troy. They ask me a question and I say: “Play my video from five years ago.”
Support for Thierry Henry
Since Thierry Henry removed himself from social media, he has had a couple of support from a host of people including his former club, the Arsenal football club.
Days after it was confirmed that he has removed himself from social media, Arsenal announced the #StopOnlineAbuse action plan to tackle the menace of social media abuse and racism.
Also, Facebook announced that users of the platform now have the access to control who can comment on their posts which is an attempt to control the issue of online harassment.
This same feature is available on Instagram which is an online platform owned and controlled by Facebook.
“By giving people more control over their public posts, we hope to further support them in managing their content and reducing unwanted interactions,” Facebook said in a statement issued on Wednesday, March 31.
“If you’re a public figure, creator, or brand, you too can choose to limit your commenting audience on your public posts to help you feel safe and engage in more meaningful conversations with your community.
“This new tool is the latest example of how we’re helping you control and curate your News Feed to best reflect who you are as your interests and priorities evolve. We also want to continue to help you understand why you see the content you do on your News Feed.”