Marcus Rashford has said he received “at least 70 racial slurs” on social media following Manchester United’s Europa League final defeat against Villareal.
United lost the match after a 1-1 draw after extra time and a miss by goalkeeper David de Gea at the end of a lengthy penalty shootout.
Rashford, 23, posted on Twitter in the hours after the game in Gdansk, Poland, to say he had been subjected to racial abuse across his social media accounts.
“For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying,” he wrote.
He later claimed that one of the accounts that sent him “a mountain of monkey emojis” was “a maths teacher with an open profile”.
“He teaches children!! And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence,” he wrote.
United said a number of their players were racially abused online following the final, although it is currently unclear who other than Rashford was targeted.
They described it as “disgraceful” racial abuse and urged anyone who witnessed it to report it.
Rashford, who received an MBE following his campaign for free school meals during the pandemic last year, was also abused following a draw against Arsenal in January.
He said at the time: “Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different.
“So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.
“I’m not sharing screenshots. It would be irresponsible to do so and as you can imagine there’s nothing original in them. I have beautiful children of all colours following me and they don’t need to read it. Beautiful colours that should only be celebrated.”
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He also called on social media companies to take stronger action against accounts who engage in abuse.
“Online abuse – it should be easy to stop, just deactivate the accounts. We know that it’s very easy to make four or five accounts but if you have to block them all, then block them all,” he told Sky Sports News.
“That’s on the social media companies themselves. If they see anyone being abusive in any way, their account should be deleted immediately – that’s how you’d deal with it.”
Wednesday night’s game ended in a shootout after a 1-1 draw and no goals in extra time.
Villarreal opened the scoring in the 29th minute after Edinson Cavani gave away a free-kick that Dani Parejo swung in from the left, with Gerard Moreno directing it home.
United made it 1-1 in the 55th minute, when Cavani latched onto a loose ball from six yards out.
All outfield players scored their spot-kicks in the shootout, as did Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli before saving De Gea’s penalty to win it 11-10.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand said Manchester United had been short of inspiration on the night, telling BT Sport: “Manchester United have relied upon individuals this season to come up with the trump cards in games at critical moments in the games.
“Bruno [Fernandes] has invariably been the man they have leaned on, [Edinson] Cavani late on in the season, Mason [Greenwood] sometimes, Marcus [Rashford].
“But today, they just never came up with the goods.
“Villarreal weathered the storm and the experience of [Unai] Emery, the way he set his team up, they nullified Manchester United, they made Manchester United today look quite toothless at times and they got the job done, and credit to Unai Emery and his team.”
“Four Europa League titles. It’s not to be sniffed at, that,” he said of the Spanish coach.
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