Aston Villa have condemned abuse sent to Tyrone Mings after the defender revealed he has been subjected to racism on social media.
The centre-back posted a screenshot on his Twitter account on Friday of a racist message from an Instagram user.
Mings tweeted: “Another day in the life of social media with no filter… Please don’t feel sorry for us, just stand side by side in the fight for change. Social media isn’t getting any safer without it.”
His club Aston Villa have said they are “disgusted” by the revelation and will continue to work with footballing authorities on ongoing efforts to combat online hate and discrimination.
A statement read: “Aston Villa is disgusted by the appalling racist abuse directed towards Tyrone Mings on social media.
“In the early hours of this morning, Tyrone received an abhorrent and vile private message on his social media account.
“We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Tyrone, who is an inspirational figure at the forefront of the fight against racism.
“The club will continue to work closely with the Premier League, football authorities and social media platforms to tackle this disgraceful online behaviour.”
Sky Sports News has contacted Facebook, which owns Instagram, for comment.
England were also quick to support the centre-back following the latest instance in a long list of professional footballers being racially abused online, with Marcus Rashford, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Raheem Sterling among those also targeted in recent months.
A post on England’s official Twitter account read: “We are running out of ways to say this: stop racially abusing people online. It is simply not acceptable. We’re with you, @OfficialTM–3.”
Mings admitted at the start of April a social media blackout could be a way to force more action during an interview with Sky Sports.
The 28-year-old also recently said players should continue to take a knee before matches, and believes the gesture still carries a powerful message in defiance against racism.
Mings has been active in the fight against racial discrimination in professional football. He said players can act as “pioneers” in tackling racism after he along with several England players were racially abused by supporters in Bulgaria on his international debut back in 2019.
He was at the forefront of football’s fight against racism last year. Before Aston Villa took on Sheffield United in June 2020 during Project Restart, Mings was among the first group of Premier League players to take a knee prior to a game.
The centre-back then questioned the decision for the Black Lives Matter logo to be replaced on shirts for the 2020-21 season and also helped to create the Football Association’s Leadership Diversity Code.
Mings was credited for his efforts by being named on the Football Black List in 2020 and earlier this year, the defender joined virtual talks between the government and a group of high-profile sportsmen and women to share views on the rising levels of online discrimination within the game.
Former Arsenal and Barcelona forward Thierry Henry recently shut down his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts due to the platforms being “too toxic to ignore”.
Sky Bet Championship Swansea and Birmingham ended week-long social media boycotts on Thursday while Rangers players and staff were also involved in a similar boycott in support of Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe.
In the wake of rising levels of abuse and a number of his Liverpool team-mates being targeted, Jordan Henderson has handed control of his social media accounts to the Cybersmile Foundation, a cyber-bullying charity, and the midfielder says he may yet come off the platforms altogether.
Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out have stated they would support any Premier League-wide boycott, amid reports English top-flight clubs were considering such a move.
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Kick It Out reporting racism
Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.