As Ian Wright speaks, Les Ferdinand calls on social media giants to stop racist racists.

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20 May 2020, 23:02 IST changed

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Former Premier League striker Les Ferdinand

Former England striker Les Ferdinand has challenged social media giants to tackle racism on their platforms, citing the brutality they have shown towards COVID-19 conspiracy theorists.

Arsenal great Ian Wright became the latest high-profile footballer to be charged with torture, leading to a police investigation in Ireland.

Fardinand, who has played in the Premier League at QPR, Newcastle United and Tottenham, now says the racism of keyboard fighters will continue unless technicians take drastic action.

He told Status Performer: “One of the things I’ve been looking at with this Kavid situation, I’ve been seeing things on social media where people have an opinion on what they think of their Kavid-19, and that’s what has been taken down from YouTube, it’s Facebook. Taken from

“All of these kinds of things have been removed, but they allow racist torture to flow freely through their channels.

“This problem will continue until these people decide to do something about it.”

Representatives of the major English football authorities met with a number of social media organizations last year in an attempt to push the point about targeting players online.

Wright has complained of abuse on Instagram, while Manchester City forward Rahim Sterling, Watford striker Troy Deini and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Jaha have faced horrific comments on several platforms based on their skin color.

The problem is broad, and Ferdinand wants to be more accountable.

He said: “You can set up a social media account with it [identifiable as] You and you can be racially abusive.

“Let’s assume it was seen as part of the parcel a few years ago [of football] It was adopted for torturing people in stadiums and for racially abusing people from different backgrounds.

“People could make monkey noises and people could throw bananas on their backs and exit at the end and that was it.

“It’s another avenue. They can’t do it very freely in stadiums now because you have CCTV cameras and there are people among us in stadiums who can do something like that.

“But it’s easy to throw these things away from sitting behind a keyboard – and I’m going to say racism isn’t a football problem, it’s a problem in society.”

Ferdinand, QPR’s director of football, played for the club from 1987 to 1999, when racism on the field was more rifling than in modern times.

He said: “Football has been a medium in the past where people can run it without any pressure.

“So the same people who were doing it then – well, the generation has changed, but there are still racist people in society and they will find a way to be racist and this is the easiest way to do it without going back to any identification” to this person. “