English Premier League club Brentford released a statement condemning the “disgusting, racist abuse” its striker Ivan Toney says he received on social media after he scored two goals during his side’s 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday.
“I wasn’t even going to post this but I woke up angry…” Toney wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning, alongside screenshots of an Instagram direct message using abusive language.
In its statement, Brentford condemned “this discriminatory behaviour in the strongest possible terms.
“An attack on one of our players is an attack on all of us. Ivan will receive the full backing from the Club and from the Brentford fans who we have already seen condemning the abuse.
“We expect strong support from the police, legal authorities and from Instagram’s parent company, Meta, to ensure that the individual involved faces the full force of the law for this despicable hate crime.”
“Nobody should receive racist messages such as this,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement to CNN. “We have sent a message to the victim asking him to contact police.”
A Meta spokesperson said in a statement to CNN that, “no one should have to experience racist abuse, and sending messages like this is completely against our rules.
“DMs are private spaces, which means we can’t take action unless someone reports the message to us in-app – but we also want to help protect people from having to see this abuse in the first place.
“That’s why we’ve developed our Hidden Words feature which filters offensive comments and DMs, and we’re working closely with football bodies to help players turn these tools on. No one thing will fix this overnight, but we’ll continue to work to help protect our community from abuse, and to respond quickly to valid legal requests to support police investigations.”
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 between October 8 and 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 abuse of the kind received by Ivan Toney,” the statement read. “It has no place in football or society. We are supporting Ivan and the club with investigations. Football is for everyone #NoRoomForRacism.”
“The #PL will continue to support players and work with clubs to tackle discriminatory behaviour,” the league added, in a threaded tweet.
In May, British police said it was investigating the alleged racist abuse of Toney and his teammate Rico Henry’s families during Brentford’s match against Everton in Liverpool.
Toney and Henry tweeted the allegations against the unidentified supporters after the match at Goodison Park.
“And for the man that racially abused my family Il [sic] do everything I can to get you the punishment you deserve,” Toney wrote at the time.