Prince William is speaking out against racist abuse online, and is demanding social media platforms do their part to tackle the problem. On Sunday, in a three-part tweet, the royal wrote: "Racist abuse — whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media — is despicable and it must stop now."
He continued, "We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions. That responsibility extends to the platforms where so much of this activity now takes place." Before signing off simply as "W," Will added that he commends those who "continue to call out and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms."
The Duke of Cambridge's plea appears to be in reference to the racially insensitive comments Black footballer Marcus Rashford received on Twitter over the weekend, after his team Manchester United's 0-0 draw against Arsenal F.C.
"Humanity and social media at its worst. Yes I'm a black man and I live every day proud that I am," Rashford tweeted at his haters. "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."
He went on to say that he wouldn't be outing anyone by sharing screenshots, adding that it would "irresponsible to do so." Rashford explained, "I have beautiful children of all colors following me and they don't need to read it. Beautiful colors that should only be celebrated."
Rashford's message comes days after several other Premier League players — including Reece James, Anthony Martial, and Alex Tuanzebe — received similar abuse on social media.
The League's CEO Richard Masters said he was "appalled" by the racism directed at the players and their families. "Racist behavior of any form is unacceptable and nobody should have to deal with it. Tackling online hate is a priority for football, and I believe social media companies need to do more," he said in a statement. "We are in regular dialogue with social media companies, challenging them to do more against discriminatory abuse on their platforms. We want to see swifter removal of offensive messages and improved identification and banning of offenders."
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