By Alex O’Connor
Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure has been the target of recent racist remarks on Twitter. On Monday, Toure received several racist messages in a matter of a few hours. Toure rejoined Twitter yesterday and was greeted with several racist remarks. Toure describes the messages as a “disgrace” and has noted that he wants “Those people to understand what they’re doing is wrong.” Per BBC Sport, the Greater Manchester Police have received the complaint and are thoroughly investigating the issue. Toure was off of Twitter for over five months due to un-warranted distractions. Unfortunately, there have been additional distractions only a day into reestablishing his Twitter.
Though Toure is facing adversity on the social media spectrum, an anti-discriminatory organization known as Kick it Out has come to his aid. Kick it Out is an international organization that vies for equality and inclusion in all aspects of sport, having their primary focus in soccer. Kick it Out’s official statement read: “We are disturbed by the fact that someone can be treated this way. It makes footballers start to question why they should use these platforms. We are offering Yaya Toure our full support.” This response shows immediate defense to Toure while hammering home the message that racism has no place in soccer.
One specific tweet was caught by authorities and was proved to be written by an avid Chelsea fan. The tweet read: “shut up n*****.” The UK’s DailyStar reported that the fan had apologized, but directly to Toure. His apology was given through Twitter, and was sent to the DailyStar. They are connecting the insincerity of the apology, claiming that his apology was not administered the right way. This is another way in which social media has hurt not only Toure, but the original messenger.
Toure took a five month break from Twitter, because of distractions to his playing. However, just over a year ago, Toure was the subject of racist messages from fans during a Champions League group stage game in Moscow, Russia. There were even suggestions that black players should boycott the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia. As a result, the Etihad Stadium in Moscow will be forced to not have any fans present when Toure and Manchester City travel to Moscow. This is a significant revenue loss not only for the stadium and surrounding city, but the entire sport as a whole. Governing bodies are going so far as to prohibit fans from even watching a soccer game in person. In the midst of this situation and Toure’s most recent entanglement, City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident the latest issue will not effect his performance on the field. Toure has had several poor experiences with social media, and now this incident has proven to be detrimental to the entire sport.