English Premier League club Brentford released a statement condemning the “disgusting and racist abuse” striker Ivan Toney received on social media after scoring twice in his side’s 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday.
“I wasn’t going to post this, but I woke up angry…” Toney wrote on Twitter Saturday morning, along with screenshots of a direct Instagram post using offensive language.
In its statement, Brentford “condemned this discriminatory behavior in the strongest possible terms.
“An attack on one of our players is an attack on all of us. Ivan will receive the full support of the Club and Brentford fans who we have seen condemn his abuse.
“We look forward to the strong support of the police, legal authorities and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, to ensure that the individuals involved face the full force of the law for this despicable hate crime.”
“No one should receive racist messages like this,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement to CNN. “We have sent a message to the victim asking them to contact the police.”
A Meta spokesperson said in a statement to CNN, “No one should have to be subjected to racist abuse, and sending such messages is completely against our rules.
“DMs are private spaces, which means we can’t take action unless someone reports the message to us in the app, but we want to help protect people from seeing abuse.
“That’s why we’ve developed the Hidden Words feature that filters out offensive comments and emails, and we’re working closely with football organizations to help players activate these tools. Nobody’s going to fix this overnight, but we’ll keep working to help protect our community from abuse and police investigations respond promptly to valid legal requests for assistance.”
Before kick-off, Brentford and Brighton players took a knee to “show their unity against all forms of racism”, as all Premier League players are doing from October 8-16 to highlight the league’s No Room For Racism campaign.
The Premier League also released its own statement On Twitter, condemning “all forms of discrimination”.
“No one should have to face the abuse that Ivan Toney received,” the statement read. “It has no place in football or in society. We are helping Ivan and the club with their investigations. Football is for everyone #NoRoomForRacism”.
“#PL will continue to support players and work with clubs to address discriminatory behaviour,” the league added in a tweet.
In May, British police said they were investigating alleged racist abuse by the families of Toney and teammate Rico Henry during Brentford’s match against Everton in Liverpool.
Toney and Henry tweeted the allegations against unidentified supporters after the match at Goodison Park.
“And for the man who racially abused my family Il [sic] I will do everything I can to get you the punishment you deserve,” Toney wrote at the time.