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Aston Villa condemn "abhorrent and vile" abuse towards Tyrone Mings

Aston Villa condemn
© Reuters
The Three Lions centre-back called on social media companies to make a change.

Aston Villa have condemned the “abhorrent and vile” racist abuse sent to Tyrone Mings and described the defender as an inspirational figure in the fight for equality.

The England international posted a screenshot on his Twitter account on Friday of a message from an Instagram user which called him a “f****** n*****” and said “leave the football f****** pig”.

Mings tweeted: “Another day in the life of social media with no filter… Please don’t feel sorry for us, just stand side by side in the fight for change. Social media isn’t getting any safer without it.”

England and Villa were quick to throw their support behind the 28-year-old, with the Premier League side highlighting the fine work done by the centre-back in the fight against racism.

A club statement read: “Aston Villa is disgusted by the appalling racist abuse directed towards Tyrone Mings on social media.

“In the early hours of this morning, Tyrone received an abhorrent and vile private message on his social media account.

“We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Tyrone, who is an inspirational figure at the forefront of the fight against racism.

“The club will continue to work closely with the Premier League, football authorities and social media platforms to tackle this disgraceful online behaviour.”

England described the racist abuse sent to Tyrone Mings as
England described the racist abuse sent to Tyrone Mings as “simply not acceptable” (Nick Potts/PA)

Mings is the latest in a long list of professional footballers to have suffered racial abuse online in recent months, with fellow England internationals Marcus Rashford, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Raheem Sterling among those to be targeted.

A post on England’s official Twitter account read:  “We are running out of ways to say this: stop racially abusing people online. It is simply not acceptable. We’re with you, @OfficialTM_3.”

The account of the Instagram user has been suspended and a Facebook company spokesperson told the PA news agency: “The abuse directed towards Tyrone Mings is unacceptable.

“We don’t want it on Instagram and we’ve taken action against the person who sent it. We share the goal of tackling online abuse and holding people who share it accountable.

“We do this by taking action on content and accounts that break our rules and cooperating with law enforcement when we receive a valid legal request.

“We recently announced that we’ll take tougher action when we become aware of people breaking our rules in DMs and we’ve built tools to help protect people, including the ability to never receive a DM from someone you don’t follow.

“We’re always working on new ways to keep our community safe and will have more to share soon.”

Mings admitted at the start of April a social media blackout could be a way to force more action during an interview with Sky Sports.

Former Arsenal and Barcelona forward Thierry Henry recently shut down his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts due to the platforms being “too toxic to ignore”.

Sky Bet Championship Swansea and Birmingham ended week-long social media boycotts on Thursday while Rangers players and staff were also involved in a similar boycott in support of Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson revealed on Wednesday he may close his social media accounts due to continued abuse directed at his team-mates and fellow professionals.

Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out have stated they would support any Premier League-wide boycott, amid reports English top-flight clubs were considering such a move.

Villa defender Mings was also racially abused in Bulgaria at the end of 2019 on his England debut.

The Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia was halted on two occasions after racist abuse from the crowd towards the centre-back and some of his international colleagues was reported to the match officials.

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