Palace take action against Zaha’s racist online trolls
Crystal Palace are to attempt to track down the perpetrators who have racially abused Wilfried Zaha on social media.
Palace will urge other clubs to take action if any of their fans are found to have targeted Zaha over a series of months.
Palace have reported the incidents to social media platforms, who are under growing pressure to act, and will try to identify abusers. If any are Palace fans they will face sanctions, such as losing their season tickets or being banned. The police could also be called in with a view to a criminal prosecution.
Palace said in a statement: “We will not tolerate this behaviour being directed at any of our players and will fully support them in dealing with such incidents. Any action we can take unilaterally as a club will be taken immediately and we will also seek cooperation from other clubs where relevant. Following that, we will pursue the matter criminally with the full force of whatever the law allows.”
There has not been one specific incident that has led Zaha (right) to make a complaint, but the Ivory Coast international has received abuse in the past and it has had a cumulative effect.
Zaha spoke out against online racist abuse he received last season when he was targeted following a 2-2 Premier League draw with Arsenal, during which he won a penalty after going down under Granit Xhaka’s challenge.
Zaha took to social media following the Arsenal game and subsequently revealed in a post on his Instagram story that the abuse had escalated.
He wrote: “For all the people taking it one step further and being racist and wishing death on my family I wish you and your families the best too x. P.S. my life is still very good despite your hate.” The Professional Footballers’ Association has said that racist abuse of players on social media has reached a crisis point, with Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham and Hamza Choudhury among those targeted in recent months. The PFA has met with Twitter to discuss the issue, while there has been talk of a social media boycott.
Kick It Out, the anti-discrimination campaigners, backed Palace’s stance. A statement read: “We fully support the response from Crystal Palace to the latest incident of vile racist abuse directed at Wilfried Zaha online. “It’s extremely frustrating to continue to witness hatred on social platforms.
“While recognising it is a wider social issue, we utterly condemn the language used and demand that the platforms come forward with appropriate actions.”