Willian of Arsenal football club has lamented how persistent racist attack on social media makes him scared to look at his phone in some occasions. The 32-year-old Brazilian right-winger claimed that he is sometimes tempted to delete his social media accounts due to racist attacks.
The Arsenal’s star who stated this during a press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final match against Slavia Prague scheduled to kick-off at 20:00 later today, April 8, said enough is enough to racism against footballers.
In recent times, there has been an increasing number of racist attacks against footballers on social media. Due to this, the advocacy against this trend has skyrocketed to the extend Arsenal’s football legend, Thierry Henry has deleted his social media accounts in protest against racism.
“I feel I want to delete my social media account,” Willian said. “I see some people that are deleting because of racism and abuse. Straight away I want to do that, but when I think and take a few minutes, I relax. Straight away the reaction is to delete…
“To be honest [I am afraid to look]. We are human, you know? I want to understand these people, who they are, who they think they are to speak to us like this?
“We are professional, we do our best to help the team. We always want to win. We have our bad days, sometimes you are not feeling good, you have problems like everyone.
“Personal problems, family problems, sometimes you are not in a good day, you have a bad game and they come and say this kind of words that hurt you. We want to stop it, enough is enough.”
Due to the rising cases of racism on social media, Arsenal football club launched a stop online abuse campaign which intends to discourage online discrimination.
The most recent football stars to suffer racist attacks on social media were Liverpool stars, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita, and Sadio Mane. These players are always victims of abuse on social media whenever they don’t perform to expectation.
Ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League game against Slavia Prague, Willian insisted that the authorities in charge of social media platforms have not been doing enough to stop racism. He argued that the efforts footballers have been making to stop racism have not been yielding much result.
Hence, he urged his critics to focus on criticizing his performance on the pitch and leave his personal life especially that of his family out of their criticisms.
“If they want to criticize me for what I am doing on the pitch, if I have to play better, if I have to train more, I will accept this”, Willian added. “When they come to attack you and your family, that is not good. We have to try a way to stop it.
“I was in that situation. It was very difficult for me. I was seeing horrible words against my family on my phone for example. After that I said to myself, enough is enough. I have to try something, take some action against racism and online abuse.
“To change it we need action. As players we do what we can, we need authorities to do the action.”