Eight men have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police after an investigation into the racist abuse directed at a Tottenham player on social media.
While the report does not reveal the identity of the Spurs player, it is explained that he was targeted with a torrent of racist abuse after Tottenham’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United last month.
Son Heung-min was subject to a vitriolic abuse on social media after the game for his involvement in Edinson Cavani’s disallowed first-half goal.
Tottenham revealed at the time that they had reported the racist abuse directed at the 28-year-old to the social media platforms and that they would meet with the Premier League to determine what can be done.
It is unclear if the investigation was on the abuse directed at the South Korean but it is revealed that the inquiry was undertaken as a part of the Met Police’s nationwide action on suspicion of using words or behaviour or displaying written material with intent to stir up racial hatred.
Apart from the eight people who were arrested, four others were reportedly interviewed under caution by the Met Police.
Detective Sergeant Matt Simpson from the Met’s public order crime team is quoted as saying: “This action makes it abundantly clear that police will not stand for racist thuggery, even if it is committed online.
“The posts, all of which were on Twitter, were vulgar and were utterly unacceptable. There is no safe haven for this type of abusive behaviour, and we are committed to taking decisive action to root it out.
“With a busy summer of football approaching we are committed to driving out this type of racist behaviour – it has no place in football.
“I am delighted with the support we have received from our policing colleagues nationally and from Manchester United and Tottenham. Without them, it would be difficult to identify these users and take action.”
Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett insisted that the arrests will send a powerful message discouraging online abuse aimed at players.
He said: “Social media has become a vehicle for inappropriate behaviour on a societal level and certain people think it’s okay to send abusive messages.
“We have to make sure we create an environment where online abuse is punished and that the perpetrators are identified as much as possible.
“These arrests demonstrate the police’s commitment to tackling online abuse and we hope this sends a message to others so they think twice before posting discriminatory abuse.
“It’s also important that we remain focused on the welfare of those who play, watch and work in football, and receive abuse, and we will continue to offer our support to those who need it.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The Met Police have done the right thing and hopefully, this sends a president going forward. Legal actions of this sort will have a much bigger impact than symbolic moves like a social media boycott.
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