Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has announced he is quitting social media describing racism and abuse online as “too toxic to ignore”, and hopes his decision will inspire others to stand up against bullying online.
The French World Cup winner announced yesterday that he would be quitting social media until tech companies and business who run these platforms take more responsibility and hold users accountable for their actions.
Henry, who has 2.3 million followers on Twitter, told CNN Sport: "It's not a safe place and it's not a safe environment. I wanted to take a stand on saying that it is an important tool that unfortunately some people turn into a weapon because they can hide behind a fake account."
He added: "I'm not saying it's not good to have social media, I'm just trying to say that it has to be a safe place. Basically, I did what I felt and I hope it can inspire people to do the same thing if they feel the same way."
The 43-year-old said he was inspired by legendary boxer Muhammed Ali, who was outspoken about social issues during the Vietnam war. "Muhammad Ali didn't want to go to war, he didn't wait to see if everyone was with him, it's what he felt," Henry said.
"Please understand that I'm nowhere near that caliber [...] but I said to myself: 'Thierry, that's how you feel, you feel strongly about it.' That's what I'm going to do. To show that, obviously, I'm not happy with how things are going on social media.
"Things are a tiny bit better in the stadium but now the problem has moved on social media, where people can hide. You can always say: 'Oh, it's difficult to trace who it is.' You close that account, they can open another one. So you only move the problem. That problem has been going on for a long time and this is not an attack on anyone. It's about making the place safer."