Jason Lee of the Professional Footballers’ Association believes as racist misuse of players on media continues, we’ve reached crisis stage.
Former striker Lee, now the Equalities Education Executive of the PFA, was talking after Reading striker Yakou Meite, Tammy Abraham and Paul Pogba were targeted on social networking platforms.
The Manchester United Charlton’s and team-mate Marcus Rashford Lyle Taylor of pogba also have been subjected to racist abuse online.
Lee, who played with Nottingham Forest and Watford, welcomed the first encounters that the PFA have experienced with Twitter to help eliminate players’ internet abuse, but feels must be done to help resolve the issue.
“We’ve arrived at a place where it is catastrophe so far as we’re concerned,” Lee told Sky Sports News.
“Everyone should arrive at the table, we will need to try and thrash it out and come to some conclusion and try to eradicate what it’s happening.
“To be honest to Twitter, they would have been among the very first to reach out to us and we have had two meetings with them and they have been optimistic meetings.
“Coming out of that, they’ve demonstrated a genuine willingness to work with ourselves and improve things and also to participate with the gamers.
“It is important they talk to the players right. We can all speak on behalf of gamers but more to the point, if there’s a dialogue we have created and opened, [it may ] give players the chance to voice their issues into the horse’s mouth”
Twitter have also released a statement in which they affirmed that they will continue to work with all the PFA and the anti-racism organisation Kick Out to try and prevent abuse of players.
“In the past two weeks, we’ve taken action on over 700 examples of misuse and hateful conduct related to UK football,” it read.
“This vile content has no place on our services. We will continue to take speedy action.
“Working together with the PFA, we’ll participate in their player training programme also will be linking a collection of educational sessions with its own membership to support the PFA’s vision to attack the situation.
“Working with Kick It Out, we will continue our working relationship with UK policing to additional brief them and offer training about our policies, procedures and dedicated 24/7 reporting channels to law enforcement.
“We want to play our role in controlling this unacceptable behaviour – both offline and online – and will keep on engaging with clubs and partners, protecting the conversation out of misuse, and taking quick action on account that violate our rules”
There have been quite a few incidents where players have been abused on the pitch lately, together with monkey chants aimed at Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku by Cagliari supporters.
A part of the Inter ultras team’Curva Nord’ then insisted that the monkey chants directed at Lukaku by Cagliari fans weren’t supposed to be racist.