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Patrick van Aanholt: Crystal Palace defender sent racist abuse on social media after Manchester United draw

George Flood
·1-min read
<p>Patrick van Aanholt played for Crystal Palace against Manchester United on Wednesday night</p> (Getty Images)

Patrick van Aanholt played for Crystal Palace against Manchester United on Wednesday night

(Getty Images)

Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt has been subjected to vile racist abuse on social media following Wednesday night’s Premier League clash with Manchester United.

The Dutch left-back started and played the full 90 minutes of the goalless draw and afterwards took to social media to reveal abhorrent messages sent to him on Instagram following a late missed chance at Selhurst Park.

“Why we kneel,” Van Aanholt wrote alongside a screenshot of the abuse on Twitter.

Van Aanholt was also sent racially abusive messages on Instagram back in August, when he called on the platform to do more to combat the growing issue.

Things have only escalated since then, with a number of players having been sent abuse over recent months.

Last month, English football united to send an open letter to social media companies demanding more action, insisting their platforms remained “havens for abuse”.

Facebook - which also owns Instagram - announced tougher measures to tackle the abuse on their platforms, including removing accounts that repeatedly violate rules in direct messages.

The Government have also pledged to help crackdown on the problem, with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden having held a meeting with present and former footballers earlier this year.

The Online Safety Bill is set to be introduced in 2021 and, according to Mr Dowden, could see “huge fines for firms which fail to clearly and transparently protect their users” as they look to introduce new accountability for social media companies.

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