Ian Wright has revealed that he has been subject to “terrifying” and “daily” abuse on his social media channels.
Only Thierry Henry has scored more goals for Arsenal than Wright, who turned out for the Gunners between 1991 and 1998 and netted 185 times for the club in 228 appearances, but the ex-striker is now known as a respected pundit.
Still in the public eye, Wright has found himself a target for online trolls in the wake of his tweeting support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which aims to promote equality.
“These aren't isolated incidents!!! It's daily!! This is what I received for posting and talking about #BlackLivesMatter yesterday. The abuse started a week earlier, the taunting is terrifying. Coming back and back again,” he said.
“Let's show these social media companies how bad this has got, it's ridiculous!!! So easy for them!! If you or a black friend has had online racist abuse then please post a tweet with the hashtags #NoConsequences and #BlackLivesMatter.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has gained strength since protests took place in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25, with the Premier League confirming that players’ shirts will sport the movement’s title in place of surnames over the course of the weekend, while they will also carry the ‘BLM’ logo until the end of the season.
As well as speaking out on the issues surrounding race, Wright had previously defended the Premier League’s right not to rush back after the coronavirus pandemic.
“Football is the punching bag,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“When you hear people having a go at football because the Premier League are having meetings ... they have to have meetings because at some stage things have to start again.
“Just because football is a game ... it's still a business, just like other businesses are making plans to try and get themselves going again.”
The Premier League got underway again on Wednesday, with Wright's former side slipping to a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.