Sunday 25 August 2019

Darren Randolph's father blasts racist trolls over Christie abuse

Ireland fans have come out in support of Cyrus Christie following online abuse
Ireland fans have come out in support of Cyrus Christie following online abuse
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

THE father of Ireland soccer goalkeeper Darren Randolph has hit out at the racist abuse levelled at defender Cyrus Christie on Twitter.

Ed Randolph told the Irish Independent that if his son had not played well against Denmark, the abuse could have gone his way.

And he revealed Darren had been the target of racist online trolls in the past.

"I find it utterly appalling that players can be subjected to that kind of abuse.

"We all wanted them to go out and win. Players don't want to go out and make mistakes," said Mr Randolph, who was a basketball player and now coaches children.

"People just sit on social media, behind their screens, and spread this abuse.

"I coach kids and I always say if you want to say something bad about someone, count to 10. If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything," he added.

Speaking about racism in Ireland, he said that when his children Darren and Neil were younger, he used to have to speak to them and tell them to be careful when going out.

"I told them 'mind yourself', it only takes one comment," he said.

"Darren has been trolled before, people have said no-so-nice things about him on social media," he said, adding that his son now stays away from social media sites.

Christie is due to make a complaint in person to gardaí in the coming days over the vile abuse he suffered on Twitter.

A source said gardaí will wait for that complaint before approaching Twitter to help their inquiries.

Pursue

It is understood officers are confident that they can successfully pursue the matter once an investigation has begun.

Copies of the messages Christie received on Twitter have been given to officers by the FAI.

Christie has received massive backing from Ireland supporters as well as players, past and present, for his stand.

In a statement, Twitter told the Irish Independent it does not comment on named accounts. However, the company said it has strictly enforced policies against "hateful conduct" based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.

Twitter also pointed to a legal process it has set for law enforcement agencies to obtain information.

It is understood Christie has made no specific complaint to the social media website about accounts from which abuse was being sent.

Ireland hero Paul McGrath was among those to have backed the player.

"I think it's outrageous. Ireland has always been a very diverse country," he said.

The FAI has said it was working with Christie to deal with the abuse and the organisation was giving him its full support.

In his statement this week, Christie said the racist abuse he suffered was not representative of Ireland fans. "It is deeply saddening that racism is still part of the game we all enjoy and love," he wrote.

He said people must stand up to the racists, who do not belong in sport.

Irish Independent

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