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Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt reveals racist abuse online after Manchester United draw

Lawrence Ostlere
·1-min read
Patrick van Aanholt saw a late chance saved (Reuters)
Patrick van Aanholt saw a late chance saved (Reuters)

Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt has revealed he was racially abused on social media following the goalless draw with Manchester United on Wednesday night.

Van Aanholt had a late opportunity to win the game but saw his shot saved by United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

On Thursday morning Van Aanholt posted a screenshot apparently showing a direct message from Instagram user garyyy93, an account which has since been deleted. The abusive message included racist language and blamed the defender for a lost bet on the game.

Van Aanholt posted the image on social media alongside the caption “why we kneel...”, referring to the Premier League’s continued pre-match gesture of taking a knee in protest against racism and social injustice. The gesture has been questioned in recent weeks, with Championship club Bournemouth announcing they would stop taking the knee before matches as it had “ran its course”.

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Van Aanholt is just the latest player among many on the receiving end of racist abuse on social media. The Premier League and Football Association have been in discussion with the major social media companies over the problem, and the government has vowed to change the law to make the companies more accountable.