Police arrest eight men for online racist abuse aimed at unnamed Tottenham player

The Metropolitan Police has arrested a total of eight men following an investigation into online racist abuse directed at an unnamed Tottenham player, it was announced on Friday.

The investigation was launched after a Spurs player was racially abused on social media following their 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in April.

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The abuse was detected by United’s reporting tool and then flagged to the Manchester police which resulted in arrests being made after the anonymous social media users were tracked.

“This action makes it abundantly clear that police will not stand for racist thuggery, even if it is committed online,” Detective Sergeant Matt Simpson from the Met’s public order crime team said in a statement.

“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.”

Spurs responded to the arrests with a statement which read: “We welcome the action taken here. There is no place for racism anywhere in our game and society.”

Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett also said: “We are pleased to see these arrests being made, it sends a powerful message that online abuse is unacceptable and those found guilty will face real-life consequences.

“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.”

A rise in online abuse resulted in English football uniting and boycotting social media for four days from April 30 to May 3.

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