Prince William Issues Powerful Statement Calling Out 'Despicable' Racist Comments Against Top Soccer Players

Prince William is calling out the "despicable" racist comments that continue to be made about some prominent soccer players in Britain.

He used the social media he shares with his wife Kate Middleton to make a rare personal statement after the latest hate-filled comments were made over the weekend.

Signing himself "W," he said, "Racist abuse — whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media — is despicable and it must stop now," William said.

"We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions. That responsibility extends to the platforms where so much of this activity now takes place," he continued.

"I commend all those players, supporters, clubs and organisations who continue to call out and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms. W"

Some of the most prominent soccer players in the U.K. have been receiving online abuse in recent weeks. Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United and England star, is the latest high-profile case. His teammates Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial have also been targeted, as has Romaine Sawyers, of West Bromwich Albion and the Chelsea player Reece James.

Rashford, who has been praised for raising money and awareness for kids who are going hungry at home during the pandemic, tweeted how this was humanity and social media "at its worst."

"Humanity and social media at its worst. Yes I'm a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you're just simply not going to get it here," he said.

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Greater Manchester Police said they were investigating the abuse suffered by players on social media from Wednesday 27 January to Saturday 30 January. "Nobody should be subject to such abuse and it is deeply upsetting not only to those who suffer it, but to all those who come across this awful language too."

"These hateful words have no place in our society whether online or otherwise."

Following the lead of sports stars in the United States, Premier League footballers continue to take a knee before every game to underline both the Black Lives Matter campaign and that racism will not be tolerated.

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William is President of the Football Association, the governing body of the sport in the U.K. and he has campaigned not only on combating racism but also used his position to help foster better mental health via the reach that soccer has in Britain and beyond.

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