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Morgan Whittaker: Swansea forward racially abused on social media on weekend of sport boycott

Morgan Whittaker
Morgan Whittaker scored his first Swansea goal as they beat his former club Derby County 2-1 last Saturday

Morgan Whittaker has become the fourth Swansea City player to be racially abused on social media this season.

The abuse aimed at the 20-year-old forward came on the weekend when many leading sports clubs and players joined a boycott of social media over the issue of online abuse.

Swansea have reported the “vile” abuse to South Wales Police (SWP).

Whittaker’s team-mates Yan Dhanda, Ben Cabango and Jamal Lowe have also received racist abuse this season.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised,” Whittaker wrote on Twitter.

“I will always be proud of my skin colour, no matter what. Social media has to do something to stop this kind of abuse from happening.”

In a statement, Swansea said: “Swansea City is saddened, angry and appalled by vile racist abuse received by Morgan Whittaker via social media following Saturday’s game against Derby County.

“The abuse in question has been reported to South Wales Police and the club is assisting them in their investigation.

“The fact that this has happened across a period where clubs, players and stakeholders have come together for a boycott of social media for this very reason, again shows just how much work still needs to be done.

“Morgan is sadly the fourth Swansea City player to suffer such abhorrent and disgraceful abuse online since February – a damning indictment on the world we live in.

“As a club we will continue to strive for change, urging social media companies to take strong action and implement real change on their platforms that will enable its users to open their accounts and not have to worry about what they might find.

“Chief executive Julian Winter recently wrote to both Twitter and Facebook, the latter replying with examples of how they try to combat online abuse.

“But with vile incidents appearing on a daily basis, stronger action is clearly required.

“Morgan has the full and unwavering support of everyone at Swansea City, and our message remains clear. Enough is enough.”

The latest incident in which a Swansea player was targeted has come in a season in which the club turned off their social media accounts for a week to make a stand against abuse after a number of their players were subjected to it.

SWP confirmed they are investigating Swansea’s latest complaint, adding: “South Wales Police has designated football liaison officers who work with clubs throughout the force area to help prevent and deter crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Tackling hate crime has always been a priority for South Wales Police – this behaviour is something that will not be tolerated in our community.

“The force takes hate crime seriously and works closely with those involved in football to raise awareness of hate crime amongst players and supporters.”

Whittaker is understood to have been targeted on Twitter and Instagram in the wake of Swansea’s 2-1 win over Derby on Saturday.

Whittaker scored his first league goal for Swansea in the game having joined the Welsh club from Derby in February.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, says it is looking into the Whittaker abuse and has stressed it is working to prevent abuse directed at footballers. Twitter has also been asked to comment.

If you are affected by the issues in this article, help and support is available via BBC Action Line here.

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