While the Premier League have been doing their part in the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks, football is still far from where it needs to be when it comes to eradicating racism from the game.
Far too often are players subjected to abuse, especially on social media. The latest example came from Wilfried Zaha, with the Crystal Palace winger waking up to some disgusting messages from a supposed Aston Villa fan ahead of their meeting this afternoon.
Woke up to this today. pic.twitter.com/Zal0F96htJ
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) July 12, 2020
The incident is being investigated by the authorities, with Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, and the Premier League all doing their part.
Roy Hodgson was asked about the messages during his pre-match interview and spoke brilliantly about what needed to be done to stamp out this behaviour in the future.
"It's very saddening that on the day of a game a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse."
Roy Hodgson speaks to Sky Sports ahead of Crystal Palace's game with Aston Villa about the racist abuse sent to Wilfried Zaha on social media. pic.twitter.com/qFoUKN4J9M
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 12, 2020
I think it's important. It's being highlighted very much at the moment anyway with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and everyone seems to be making such an effort to eradicate this type of behaviour.
Then very sadly on the day of a game you get a player waking up to this cowardly and despicable abuse. I think it's right that Wilf [Zaha] made people aware of it, I don't think this is something you should keep quiet about.
I think it's good that our club, Aston Villa, and the Premier League are doing everything they can to find out who this despicable individual is.
One can only hope that he will get identified and he will get called into account, and that he will pay for his actions.
There is no excuse at all. The reason is that he wants to put off one of our best players from playing well today, but to do it in the way he has chosen to do it I think it totally inexcusable.
It later emerged that English Police had arrested a 12-year old boy in relation to the tweets.
#ARRESTED| We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy.
The 12-year-old from #Solihull has been taken to custody.
Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won't be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/oFxBUvdtV1
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) July 12, 2020