During Monday’s Premier League fixture featuring Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Paul Pogba’s penalty towards the final third of the game was saved by goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
Lots of anger and criticism was hurled at the Frenchman for missing it, with many supporters also confused as to why last week’s penalty-taker Marcus Rashford didn’t retain his duty at the Molineux.
However, a few individuals went to extreme lengths and racially abused the midfielder on social media for missing the penalty.
This is the third such incident in a week’s time wherein a player was racially abused for missing a penalty. Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Reading striker Yakou Meite had similar hate targeted at them.
In both those cases, the racism was staunchly rejected and players came out in support.
In Pogba’s case as well, the solidarity from the football community was brilliant. His teammates, in particular, were outspoken in their reactions.
Marcus Rashford’s tweet aptly enunciated what needed to be said.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) August 20, 2019
Manchester United themselves released a statement on the matter, condemning the behavior on the various social media platforms.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 20, 2019
Likewise, Chris Smalling and Harry Maguire also issued similar tweets on the matter.
Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it… Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people. @Twitter @instagram https://t.co/bzow073aTw
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) August 20, 2019
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) August 20, 2019
Maguire’s tweet, in particular, called for strong action to be taken in order to ensure that such incidents don’t occur again.
All in all, it is heartwarming to see this kind of support. It is important to remember that the vast majority of supporters across the globe truly care and love their clubs and players. It is the hate festering within a few anomalies that such incidents highlight and it is vital to understand that these individuals cannot claim to subscribe to the true values that bind the great game.
Valid criticism and frustration over the shortcomings of a player are justifiable. Bringing race into the discussion isn’t.