Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha awoke to vile racist messages on his social media feeds prior to Sunday’s visit to Aston Villa from an account claiming to represent an AVFC fan.
The winger posted them on Twitter and both Palace and Villa — as well as the soccer world at large — have leapt to the defense of the Ivorian.
“This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening,” Tweeted Palace along with a RT of Zaha’s shared examples. “We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse.
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Villa added a message rejecting the messages and promising both Palace and Zaha that the Midlands club would find the offending party and issue him a lifetime ban.
The commentary from the offending account included Ku Klux Klan and Blackface imagery as well as gross personal attacks.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson commented on the incident during our pregame coverage (above).
“It’s important. It’s being highlighted very much at the moment with the Black Lives Matter. Everyone seems to be making such an effort to eradicate this type of behavior. It’s very sad on the day of a game that player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse but I think it’s right that Wilf made people aware of it. I don’t think this is something you should keep quiet about.
“It’s very good that our club, Aston Villa, and the Premier League are doing everything they can to find out who this despicable individual is and one can only hope that he’ll get identified, called into account, and he will pay for these actions. There is literally no excuse at all. He wants to put off one of our best players but to do it in the way he’s chosen to do it is inexcusable.”
We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban. https://t.co/Wx5wJVA1ww
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 12, 2020