Premier League: Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha racially abused on Twitter; police arrest 12-year-old

Zaha tweeted images of the messages he received from an individual on Saturday, which included one of members of the white supremacist organisation the Ku Klux Klan.

Reuters July 12, 2020 19:52:21 IST
Premier League: Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha racially abused on Twitter; police arrest 12-year-old

A 12-year-old boy was arrested by police after Crystal Palace player Wilfried Zaha highlighted racist abuse he received ahead of Sunday's Premier League match at Aston Villa.

The Ivory Coast international tweeted images of the messages he received from an individual on Saturday, which included one of members of the white supremacist organisation the Ku Klux Klan. “This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening. We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse,” Palace said on Twitter.

“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,” West Midlands Police said on Twitter. “The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken to custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated.”

Former Arsenal and Palace striker Ian Wright offered his support to Zaha.

“People like to make these experiences seem like it’s not the norm for black people. It’s always an outlier. ‘Not one of us’. ‘Not a real (insert club) fan’,” Wright tweeted.

“These are real people and daily experiences. Sooner we accept it the better we can deal with it.”

When the English top flight restarted after a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all players had “Black Lives Matter” on their shirts instead of their names in the opening round of games.

Teams have been taking a knee before matches kick off to show their support for the campaign.

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