‘Woke up to this today’: Wilfried Zaha on online racial abuse


Wilfried Zaha is pleased to see Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford’s likes becoming outspoken in the battle against racial injustice. However, insists that social networking sites ought to do better to counter racism.

Crystal Palace winger Zaha has been abused online for a long time by racial racists. He admitted he first received threatening tweets around ten years back.

Social networking sites rising in prevalence, having top-level athletes posting images of harassment they’ve endured has become more of a daily phenomenon recently.

Sterling and Rashford, both of England’s internationals, find themselves in these situations. Even Zaha faced similar measures earlier in July with a 12-year-old boy charged on that day.

Athletes are making a stance, exposing abuse and racial slur in the expectation of achieving justice, and Zaha is happy to see this practice.

Zaha about online racial-abuse told CNN sport:

“Yes, we are aiming to effect change. I’m so happy when I see these other young black players just not having it anymore.

“I’m proud to see it because it’s been too long. You can’t just sit back and accept it. Enough is enough.

“How are you cheering me when I’m scoring? Then if I’m not doing what you’re happy with, I’m a monkey again? How does that make any sense?

“So, I’m proud to see Raheem and Marcus speaking up and making a change.”

“Even after the 12-year-old, I reported 50 accounts that I was racially abused from that week,” Zaha added. “What happens? Those accounts get blocked then they just make a new one straight afterwards?

“With everything that we register for these days, we have to give some sort of I.D. Why is it not the same for Instagram, or Twitter? Because that’s where people tend to say what they really feel about people, no matter how hurtful or racist it is.

“I’ve gone through my Instagram account and there’s a section where you can block certain words.

“I’ve had to go and write racist words that I don’t want to see on my account – the monkey sign, ‘black this’, ‘black that’. All of it. I’ve tried myself because the social media platforms are obviously not doing enough.

“I know I speak for the majority of people going through this. I’ve seen Ian Wright and Raheem speak about it. It’s not okay. Things have to be done. Words are not enough now. No more statements.

“You can register as a nine-year-old on Instagram and they [the company] wouldn’t know. What age is it to register? Thirteen. The boy who abused me is 12. How does he even get on there? What checks are they making?”

Wilfried Zaha on BLACK LIVES MATTER:

The Premier League embraced the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign, which had gained momentum after George Floyd, an African-American individual, died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

The words ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ on the back of the jersey were seen after the restart of the league. Whereas both teams and officials kneeled at the beginning of each match before the end of the season. However, Wilfried Zaha is confused for the need to pursue such strides in 2020.

“We shouldn’t have to put Black Lives Matter to show that we matter on the back of our shirts,” he continued.

“It’s 2020. Why is it even in dispute? We shouldn’t still be sat here saying we matter and giving reasons why.

“So, yes, it’s nice to see this effort now being put towards it, but I hope that pressure is sustained.

“There’s no point me having a full-blown interview here and then going back to racial abuse on my phone again.” – Zaha told.

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