Online abusers targeted Arteta and family | Ralph Lauren

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed how he and his family have had to endure online abuse in recent weeks.

The Spaniard said on Friday that he no longer uses his Twitter account after the abuse he’s seen on social media.

He joins a host of individuals across the men’s and women’s professional game who have been targeted.

Arteta said he prefers not to read anything about himself on social media after flagging to Arsenal the abuse that’s been aimed at him and at his family.

“I think if we would be reading everything that is written about us, probably we’d have to stay in bed a lot of days,” he said.

“I think we are all exposed in this industry to that and that’s why I prefer not to read because it would affect me personally much more the moment somebody wants to touch my family.

“Because it happened, the club was aware of it and we tried to do something about it. And that’s it. We have to live with it.

“It is not going to stop tomorrow, we know that, but medium, long-term can we do something about it? That’s what I am pushing for.”

Football’s leaders have sent an open letter to social media companies calling on them to do more to stamp out abuse following the spate of recent incidents.

Manchester United players Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Anthony Martial and Lauren James are among those who have been the targets of racist abuse on social media, along with West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and Chelsea defender Reece James.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce said on Thursday he had been made aware of social media users wishing him dead, while referee Mike Dean asked not to officiate a Premier League game this weekend after he and his family received death threats.

Bruce’s son Alex also revealed the level of abuse his father has received through social media accounts.

“Honestly, some of the stuff is brutal, I have to be honest. I think as bad as I’ve seen recently is, ‘Your dad’s a ****, I hope he dies of COVID’. That’s probably as bad as it gets.

“That’s the kind of stuff you get on a regular basis, and we’re not talking about one or two. It’s disgusting some of the stuff you see.

“It’s just so easy for an idiot to sit behind a computer or a telephone and abuse someone. It’s just not right.”


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