Manchester City players Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker suffered racist posts on Instagram after the team lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday, and the social media company removed the accounts of the offending users.
Sky Sports reported that the two received a series of monkey emojis on their Instagram profiles after the match.
Sterling was also a target after City’s semi-final win over Paris Saint-Germain.
“The racist abuse these players were subjected to last night is abhorrent and we don’t want that on Instagram,” a Facebook representative, the owner of Instagram, said in a statement on Sunday. “We have quickly removed a number of comments and invoices for breaching our rules and will continue to review and take action against those who violate our policies.” “Nothing will solve this challenge overnight, but we are committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse,” he added.
Several Premier League players have been targeted in similar attacks in recent months, including Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane’s, and Chelsea’s Reece James.
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford said he was subjected to “at least 70 racial insults” on social media after Wednesday’s Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.
In February, English football authorities sent an open letter to Facebook and Twitter calling for more active action to remove offensive posts, as well as to improve the user verification process.
Instagram announced action and Twitter took action on more than 700 cases of football-related abuse in the UK in 2019.
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