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Gardai investigating racial abuse directed at Arsenal legend Ian Wright on social media


Ian Wright (Ian West/PA)

Ian Wright (Ian West/PA)

Ian Wright (Ian West/PA)

Arsenal and England football legend Ian Wright has revealed racist abuse he received from what appears to be an Irish teenager’s account.

Gardaí are investigating after the ‘Match of the Day’ pundit tweeted screenshots of a number of messages he received on social media.

"I know I'm not meant to look at them but these messages still hit me so hard man," Wright tweeted.

"This is a child!!! This kid as a direct line into me & is able to send this without any worry."

As well as vile racist abuse, messages from the account also listed Wright, his mother, father, brothers and sisters as figures of hate.

"Your [sic] like 65 years old if I get corona I will cough in your face and give you your death sentence," one message read.

An Garda Síochána confirmed that they are investigating an incident where "abusive/racist comments have been re-posted on social media platforms".

They said that no formal complaint had been made but that a teenager presented voluntarily at a Garda Station and has been interviewed.

It is understood that the teenager claims his account was hacked and that he was not the source of the vile messages.

A Garda spokesperson said: "An Garda Síochána is investigating an incident where abusive/racist comments have been re-posted on social media platforms.

"No formal complaint has been received but an investigation has commenced into the comments in line with our Diversity and Integration Strategy.

"A male adult teenager has presented voluntarily at a Garda Station and has been interviewed. A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

"An Garda Síochána are appealing to the public not to engage in social media commentary in relation to this matter."

Former Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor was also sent an abusive and racist message on Instagram, from a different account.

Kick It Out called for those who targeted him and Wright to be punished.

"We are appalled during this very trying time by the disgraceful abuse directed at Ian Wright and Gabriel Agbonlahor and their families," a statement read.

"Racial hate speech and violent threats are totally unacceptable but have become sadly normalised on social media.

"Whilst we continue to collaborate with social media platforms to ensure a safer user experience for all, these cases should be investigated by law enforcement and the abusers should face criminal sanctions."

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