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Gareth Bale prepared to boycott social media over racist abuse sent to teammates

29 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Julian Baumgartlinger (right) and Gareth Bale (left). (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Gareth Bale has said that he is prepared to boycott social media over racist abuse sent to Wales teammates Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango.

Police in Cardiff are currently investigating the origin of the online abuse aimed at Cabango and Matondo following Wales’ win over Mexico, and Bale says he would join collective social media boycott to tackle the issue if “everyone did it at once”.

This follows former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry removing himself from social media because of racism and bullying, which he said was “too toxic to ignore”.

After the game, Matondo took to Twitter to post a screenshot of racist messages he had been sent on Instagram. He said: “And it continues… another week of @instagram doing absolutely nothing about racial abuse.

When asked if he would consider boycotting social media platforms, Bale said: “If everyone did it at once, not just one or two people, I would.

“If it was a campaign where a lot of influential people in sport and other forms of life on social media make a statement, then I think it could help. If that was the case, I’m all for that.”

Bale was speaking ahead of Wales’ World Cup Qualifier against the Czech Republic on Tuesday when he  addressed the messages sent to his team-mates and argued social media needs accountability.

He said: “It wasn’t nice to wake up on Sunday to hear these things.

“Ben, Rabbi and anyone else knows we are here to support them, we are behind them and if they need to talk to us at all we are here.

“It’s very disappointing and something needs to happen in terms of the social media companies. To get an account, you need to put your passport in.

“I think that will stop people saying things because then you will be able to trace them down and hold them accountable.”

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