Wilfried Zaha responds to arrest of 12-year-old: ‘It is not enough to be disgusted by these messages’

Wilfried Zaha has called on social media platforms to continue clamping down on racism after Instagram played its part in the arrest of a 12-year-old boy who sent abhorrent abuse to the Crystal Palace forward.

Zaha posted the racist messages on his Twitter account on Sunday morning ahead of Palace’s match against Aston Villa, which included the threat: “You better not score tomorrow your black c*** or I’ll come to your house dressed as a ghost.’’

The racist abuse was condemned across the board Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, the Premier League and anti-discrimination campaign group Kick It Out.

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Later the same day, West Midlands Police arrested a boy in the Solihull area.

In a statement on Monday morning, Zaha thanked those who had sent messages of support, as well as the police for “their swift action”.

He continued: “People need to understand that whatever your age, that your behaviour and your work come with consequences and you cannot hide behind social media. It is important social media platforms do as they did yesterday and seek out these individual and remove them.

“This is not the first time I have received messages like this, nor am I the only player to receive messages like this – it happens every day. I want to thank everyone for the love and support but enough is enough!”

Zaha called for more “action” and “education” to make lasting change.

“It is not enough to be disgusted by these messages I received and move on,” he said. ”It isn’t enough to just say #notoracism. We need action, we need education, things need to change.”

The Premier League has been working more closely with social media companies in recent months including Instagram and Twitter in an effort to stamp out the abuse of players online.

“We will continue to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse,” the league said. “Through our dedicated reporting system we can take immediate action on cases like this.”

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