Updated: Friday, 10th July 2020 @ 8:07am

Balotelli Twitter abuse: Racism has no place in 21st century, says Manchester United Supporters Trust

Balotelli Twitter abuse: Racism has no place in 21st century, says Manchester United Supporters Trust

| By Kenny Lomas

Racism has no place in the 21st century, says Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) after Mario Balotelli received a torrent of racist abuse on Twitter.

The sickening abuse was triggered when the former Manchester City striker tweeted 'Man Utd...LOL', following their 5-3 defeat to Leicester.

Balotelli, who was part of the Liverpool side which lost 3-1 at West Ham on Saturday, was met with a barrage of racist comments on the micro-blogging site.

One vile tweeter wrote: "Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey."

While another disgusting tweeter said: "@F**k you Mario you f*****g n****r. Go eat some bananas and get ebola you dirty monkey.

Ian Sterling, vice president of MUST, told MM: “Racism isn’t acceptable in this day and age, there’s just no excuse for it whatsoever. 

“Unfortunately it seems that places like Twitter breeds this kind of behaviour, like it’s acceptable, but it is not.

“There is never any kind of excuse for any kind of racism. It’s the 21st century, not the middle ages."

He added: “Manchester United Supporters Trust are happy to support the work of any organisation who wants to stamp out racism, or hate crime or anything like that.”

The comments were echoed by former Arsenal and England star Ian Wright, who branded has the sickening abuse 'disgraceful'.

Yesterday, the football equality group Kick It Out tweeted that it was aware of the racist tweets directed towards Balotelli and that it would be reporting the matter to the authorities.

Merseyside Police and have confirmed they are looking into the racist comments, and many of the accounts from which the abuse originated have now been closed down.

It is not the first time the Italian forward has had to deal with racist behaviour in his career, having been faced with it on several occasions in his homeland.

Balotelli was pictured crying on the bench after being substituted aagainst Napoli back in February while playing for AC Milan, leading to reports he had been reduced to tears by abuse from the stands.

In May, Italy's World Cup preparations were disrupted when a crowd aimed a torrent of racist abuse towards Balotelli.

In 2013, Balotelli warned that he would walk off the pitch were he ever experience racist abuse again as a player after he and Milan teammate Kevin Prince-Boateng were targeted by Roma fans.

In June 2009, he was racially abused and pelted with bananas in a Rome bar during a night out with his Italy teammates in the build-up to the European Under-21 Championships. 

In an interview with GQ magazine in July, Balotelli branded racists ‘stupid’ and ‘jealous’ of his success.

“They aren't used to seeing people who are different, not white, who act not as rebels but normally,” he said. “I think what the ignorant people don't like is that people who are different are allowed to act that way.

“These stupid people, they get angry with me, they say horrible things, but I haven't done anything different from other people.

“I have made mistakes, like everyone does, and I have always paid for my mistakes. I think that if I was white maybe some people would still find me irritating or annoying but it wouldn't be the same. Absolutely not.

“Jealousy is a horrible thing, but when this jealousy is towards people who are different from the majority, and who maybe also have more than you, then it becomes anger, it becomes rage, and that's the overt racism.”

Image courtesy of liverpool FC, via YouTube, with thanks.