England player abused by racists slams social media giants

One of the England soccer players targeted with online racist abuse after his team’s loss in the final of the European championship has condemned social media companies for doing too little to block “hateful and hurtful” messages

LONDON — One of the England soccer players targeted with online racist abuse after his team’s loss in the final of the European championship condemned social media companies Thursday for doing too little to block “hateful and hurtful” messages on their platforms.

The U.K. Football Policing Unit is investigating potential hate crimes linked to the online abuse, and four people have already been arrested, according to a statement from the National Police Chiefs Council.

“We are working very closely with social media platforms, who are providing data we need to progress enquiries,’’ Cheshire police Chief Constable Mark Roberts, who leads soccer policing nationwide, said. “If we identify that you are behind this crime, we will track you down and you will face the serious consequences of your shameful actions.”

The hate crime investigation follows a night of widespread crime and disorder during and after Sunday’s European Football Championship match. As of Tuesday, authorities around the country had made 264 arrests linked to 897 incidents surrounding the final, the police chiefs said.

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