Bale Ready To Boycott Social Media Over Abuse Of Footballers

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Welsh striker Gareth Bale (L) runs away from West Ham United’s English defender Ben Johnson (R) during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at The London Stadium, in east London on February 21, 2021.
Clive Rose / POOL / AFP

 

Wales star Gareth Bale said he would be willing to join a boycott of social media to tackle online abuse after former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry disabled his accounts.

Henry quit social media at the weekend, saying he would stay away until platforms did more to tackle “toxic” racism and harassment.

Two of Bale’s Wales team-mates, Ben Cabango and Rabbi Matondo, were racially abused on Instagram following Saturday’s 1-0 friendly win over Mexico — the latest footballers to be attacked online.

Matondo criticised Instagram for not reacting quickly enough, saying if he had posted images of the match they would have been removed.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, later removed a number of accounts that were used for the racial abuse.

Bale, speaking on Monday, on the eve of Wales’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic, said only a mass boycott would have an impact.

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“If everyone did it at once, not just one or two people, I would,” said the 31-year-old forward.

“If it was a campaign where a lot of influential people in sport and other forms of life on social media (acted) to make a statement then I think it could help.

“If that was the case I’m all for that.”

Henry, who had 2.3 million followers on Twitter and 2.7 million on Instagram, told broadcaster ITV that he would return to social media when it was “safe”.

In this file photo taken on December 16, 2018 ex-Monaco’s French head coach Thierry Henry reacts during the French L1 football match between Lyon (OL) and Monaco (ASM) at the Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, central-eastern France.  ROMAIN LAFABREGUE / AFP

 

“People are getting racially abused but, when you see the statement (he made), I talk also about bullying, harassment that can cause mental issues, people commit suicide because of it,” said the 1998 World Cup winner.

“It’s very difficult to eradicate everything but can it be safer? We all know that it is a great tool but a lot of people are using it as a weapon.

“Why? Because they can hide behind fake accounts.”

Instagram took action in relation to 6.6 million elements of hate speech between October and December last year.

Twitter has said it will cooperate with authorities to erase racial abuse and hate-filled posts but would stop short of banning anonymous accounts.

AFP

‘Ask Mourinho’ Why Bale Is Not Playing- Agent

Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho (R) talks with Tottenham Hotspur’s Welsh striker Gareth Bale following the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on February 13, 2021. Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP

 

Gareth Bale’s agent has said only Tottenham Hotspurs coach, Jose Mourinho, can answer why his client has not been featuring prominently for the club.

Bale has only started two of the last 22 Premier League matches the north London club has played following his return on loan from Real Madrid,

“Really, you have to ask Mourinho that,” Jonathan Barnett said when asked why the Welshman’s playing time was limited at the Premier League side.

Bale, in an Instagram post on Tuesday, had posted “good session today”  ahead of Everton clash, suggesting he was in good health despite being unavailable to feature in his side’s FA Cup defeat.

Mourinho was quick to criticise the 31 -year old’s Instagram post calling it a “contradiction” with reality, insisting that the Wales international had reported fitness concerns

Jonathan Barnett while speaking in an interview at the Financial Times’ Business of Football event had this to say about the Welshman’s lack of playing time.

“He’s towards the end of his career. Really, you have to ask Mourinho that.’

“When they say, ‘What’s happened to him?’ – he’s won more trophies abroad than any British player in history,” he said.

While adding that the four-time UEFA champions league winner is near the twilight of his career, he believes Bale is financially stable to support a good lifestyle.

“He’s done very well financially, and he has enough money for the rest of his life. He has a very good lifestyle, so that is what has happened to him,” he argued.

Barnett’s who owns one of the biggest sports management agencies in the world also insisted financial gain was not a motivating factor for the Welsh captain’s move to the Spanish giants.

“We chose Tottenham for clear reasons; the path to the first team and good coaching,” he added.

“We turned down two offers for more money at the time but we spoke with him, his parents and they listened to us and he ended up at Real Madrid.”

 Bale, in 2013, made a  transfer fee move of €100.8 million to Real Madrid which eclipsed that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer record fee of £80 million.