Manchester City FC

Raheem Sterling & Kyle Walker racially abused after Champions League final

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
May 30, 2021, 4:15 PM GMT+1
Sterling has been targeted before
Sterling has been targeted before / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were racially abused following Manchester City's Champions League final defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

The City pair were sent monkey emojis on Instagram just days after Manchester United's Marcus Rashford was subject to the same vile treatment after the Europa League final.

A spokesperson for Facebook, who own Instagram, told Sky Sports News: "The racist abuse sent to these players last night is abhorrent and we don't want it on Instagram. We swiftly removed a number of comments and accounts for breaking our rules and we're continuing to review and take action against those that violate our policies.

"We have built safety features, including Comment Filters and Message Controls, which can meaningfully decrease the abuse people experience. No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we're committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse."

The pair are the latest players to suffer racial abuse this season, with United's Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial as well as Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha among a depressingly long list of those targeted.

This has led to widespread public outcry for social media companies to do more to combat the issue. Last month football came together to boycott Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in protest of the lack of action. Although this campaign has been praised in some quarters, the issue of racism in football still requires rigorous attention.

Kick It Out, a group that campaigns for equality in football, released a statement after Rashford reported abuse on Wednesday which read: "We are disappointed to see yet more discriminatory abuse targeted at Marcus Rashford and other Man United players following last night's game.

"Social media companies need to step up and do more to eradicate the disgusting levels of abuse that players continue to receive. This cannot and should not continue to happen."