A teenager has handed himself in to the Irish police after former Arsenal striker Ian Wright shared a series of shocking racist messages he had received on social media.
Wright felt compelled to tweet the vile Instagram messages he had been bombarded with from one account on Monday, and pointed to the torrent of abuse he and other black figures are subjected to through unregulated direct messages.
The 56-year-old is a prominent voice against racism in football and presented a two-part documentary on the subject in 2018.
The Arsenal legend wrote: “I know I’m not meant to look at them but these messages still hit me so hard man. This is a child! This kid has a direct line into me & is able to send this without any worry.”
The abuse – too vile to share in its entirety – included the term ‘monkey’ and one message read: “If I get corona I will cough in your face.”
Sky Sports report that ‘a male adult teenager’ has handed himself in to the Irish authorities and has been interviewed in relation to the shocking abuse.
The article adds that no formal complaint has been made by the former England international, but the police are still investigating and Instagram has also confirmed it is probing the account in question.
The BBC Sport pundit received an outpouring of support from his colleagues, peers, fans and former teammates after speaking out against the abuse on Twitter, and later thanked them, writing: “Thanks everyone for your kind and supportive messages. I’m normally better at ignoring it, but that one got to me. There has to be consequences. Each one teach one!! Peace and love.”
Thanks everyone for your kind and supportive messages. I’m normally better at ignoring it, but that one got to me. There has be consequences. Each one teach one!! Peace and love ✌?♥️
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) May 11, 2020
Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby has also denounced the deplorable messages, telling Sky: “Ian Wright has put his head above the parapet again and I saw him on Match of the Day with Gary Lineker a few weeks ago talking about the racist abuse he suffered as a player.
“It shows racism is society’s problem and unfortunately it has been on the rise. People have been staying at home but it doesn’t stop them abusing people on social media and this is a shocking example of that.”