Romelu Lukaku says social media CEOs should sit down with players to combat online abuse

23 September 2021, 09:42 | Updated: 23 September 2021, 11:39

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku says social media companies should sit down with Premier League footballers to help combat online abuse.

A large number of footballers have been subjected to racist abuse in recent years and spoken out about the discrimination, including Lukaku and his Chelsea team-mates Reece James, Antonio Rudiger, and N'Golo Kante.

  • Deeney: I get up to 40 racist messages a week
  • Ref quits Sunday football after alleged racism and spitting
  • Tackling racism: The case for the prosecution

England defender James temporarily deleted his Instagram account earlier this year due to the scale of online abuse, while Premier League players continue to kneel before kick-offs to show support for the movement for racial equality.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Lukaku suggested social media companies could work together with players to take action.

"The captains of every team, and four or five players, like the big personalities of every team, should have a meeting with the CEOs of Instagram and governments and the FA and the PFA," he said. "We should just sit around the table and have a big meeting about it.

"[It is] how we can attack it straight away, not only from the men's game, but also from the women's game.

"I think just all of us together and just have a big meeting and have a conference and just talk about stuff that needs to be addressed to protect the players, but also to protect fans and younger players that want to become professional footballers."

This week, Lukaku's Chelsea team-mate Marcos Alonso said he will no longer take a knee before matches as the defender believes the anti-racism gesture is "losing strength".

Since the Premier League resumed in the summer of 2020 after a coronavirus-enforced break, players, officials and staff at games have been taking a knee.

The Spain left-back says he will instead point to the Premier League 'No Room for Racism' badge on his sleeve, while other players kneel ahead of kick-off.

In the CNN interview, Lukaku was asked about the effectiveness of taking the knee, and said: "I think we can take stronger positions, basically.

"Yeah, we are taking the knee, but in the end, everybody's clapping but... sometimes after the game, you see another insult."

Hate won't win

Sky Sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.

For more information, please visit: www.skysports.com/againstonlinehate

If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and/or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, sex, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class, please copy the URL to the hateful post and screengrab it and email us here.

Kick It Out reporting racism

Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

Kick It Out is football's equality and inclusion organisation - working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

www.kickitout.org