After a tough loss against Argentina, Black French soccer players Aurelien Tchouameni, Kingsley Coman and Randal Kolo Muani were attacked on social media by soccer fans with discriminatory words.
According to the Daily Mail, the three players hopped on their Instagram accounts to find degrading racial comments following the World Cup final. During the game, each missed opportunities that could have impacted taking home the title.
The online abuse from hotheaded soccer fans upset and excited about the game’s outcome was disturbing, prompting Meta to speak on the situation.
“We don’t want racist abuse on Instagram, and we’ve removed the disgusting comments for breaking our rules,” a Meta spokesperson told The Athletic.
They continued, “We also want to help protect people from having to see this abuse in the first place, which is why we’ve developed Hidden Words, a feature that filters offensive comments and DMs, and Limits, which hides comments and DMs from people who don’t follow you, or only followed you recently. … We’re in touch with players and their teams directly, including since yesterday’s final, to offer them support and help them turn on these tools.”
Since the hate campaign began, Coman still allows Instagram users to comment on his page, while Tchouameni has limited comments on his posts. Muani has disabled them.
Verbal abuse against professional soccer players is not new. A similar situation happened following England’s loss to Italy on penalties in the Euro 2021 Final.
Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho all missed penalties and endured the same harassment online.