Yan Dhanda was racially abused on Instagram following Swansea’s loss to Manchester City last week; the midfielder revealed the messages hit him harder than he thought they would; Dhanda, however, refuses to leave social media, feeling the abuser would then win.
The incident occurred following Swansea’s FA Cup defeat by Manchester City last Wednesday, with the attacking midfielder becoming the latest in a long list of footballers to recently suffer abuse on social media.
Dhanda, who is one of Britain’s highest-profile South Asian footballers, has spoken out against what happened, revealing just how much the abuse hurt him and his family.
“I was just shocked initially, I was angry and hurt,” Dhanda said. “As the night carried on, I didn’t really get much sleep and I was thinking about it quite a lot. If someone said to me before the game that I would get racially abused, then I would have said it would not affect me and I would just brush it off. When I actually saw them after the game it did affect me more than I expected.
Facebook Suspends Dhanda Abuser
Bryan Swanson, chief reporter at Sky Sports News explained on air why Facebook have suspended, rather than banned, the account from which racist abuse was sent to Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda.
“When I went home, I was quiet and the next day at training I wasn’t my normal self. I was reserved and a bit shocked and upset still. Obviously now I am still hurt and upset by it, but I have had time to speak to my family about it, and have the support of everyone in my family and at Swansea so I do feel much better.”
Facebook said the person who racially abused Dhanda will only be temporarily blocked from sending Instagram messages and will not have their account shut down, adding “we think it’s important people have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes”.
This stance has angered Dhanda, who feels the culprit has simply got away with it.
“I was angrier than anything [at Facebook’s response],” he added. “For the person to be able to send abuse on social media and to then just be banned from sending messages for a short period of time was disgusting really.
“The guy or girl who sent the messages can go back to saying whatever they want and abusing whoever they want after a short period of time. This is where the big problem is for social media companies. Anyone can just create an account can be whoever they want behind a screen, and say whatever they want, to whoever they want. It is bad, and that is why I am trying to speak as much as I can right now.
“If I could sit down with social media companies I would tell them there needs to be some sort of proving of who you are before you sign up to the apps you want to use. To sign up, you show who you really are, whether that be using a passport or credit card, something like that. If you still want to send abuse, be racist and discriminate against others then you can be tracked, and your account be banned. You should get one chance to use your identity on these platforms. Until social media companies do this, I cannot see anything changing.”
Many footballers have been racially abused, but it now seems they should be entitled to support for social media outlets like Facebook.