Thierry Henry Quits Social Media, Releases Powerful Statement

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The list of footballers who have been racially abused online is long, and it grows longer by the day. It’s been clear, since day one of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram et al. that humanity was nowhere near ready to have the power to communicate with any other human, anywhere in the world, with very minimal effort.

Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry has decided to delete his social media, citing both the prevalence of racism and bullying online, and the fact that it all goes unchecked.

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Henry, who was recently the manager at Montreal Impact, says he’s going to stay off social media until changes are made, and those changes must include accountability to those who commit online abuse.

“From tomorrow morning I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigor and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright,” the former Belgium national team assistant said.

“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There HAS to be some accountability. It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous.”

He’s absolutely right. While some actions have been taken to try and combat racist abuse online, it’s far far too little, and it barely scratches the surface of the problem.

Thierry Henry, as of this writing, has already deleted his Twitter account. The fabulous Frenchman footballer has raised a few questions that don’t have a lot of easy answers. What we do know for sure though, is that as long as people can be anonymous on the internet, they’ll say anything and everything, aware of how there are no consequences.

Maybe it’s time to have everybody be verified in all their social media accounts? See what happens when everybody has to display their true identity online.

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Maybe some things will change, and it will improve, but of course, people are absolutely insane to begin with, and a year plus of having to be isolated in coronavirus lockdowns is only making those who were already bad, even worse.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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