Troy Deeney interview: Watford captain backs social media boycott and reveals children targetted with abuse

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Simon Collings
·3-min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Troy Deeney may well be launching his new podcast on Friday, but you won’t find him promoting across his social media channels this weekend.

The Watford captain is joining the rest of English football in its 84-hour boycott of social media to support the campaign against abuse and discrimination online.

Deeney himself has received plenty of hate during his career and his children have even been targeted when he has posted pictures of them. And he is not alone in suffering online abuse.

Players are regularly targeted by trolls and Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka on Thursday was the latest footballer to reveal he has been subjected to abuse.

Deeney believes enough is enough and he wants companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to do more to stop online abuse.

“Who are you? That’s what I always think,” Deeney tells Standard Sport when explaining his reaction to abuse online.

“How can someone turn around to a picture of my kid, who at the time was five, and say: ‘I hope that black b****** dies’.

“I am all for (the boycott), even though my podcast drops Friday. Personally, from my own perspective, it could damage me, but it is so important. It is so important that everyone gets behind this message.

“I don’t think the four days will be long enough, if you are asking me totally honestly, but it is a start. You hope it is enough to nudge the needle.

“I spoke with Thierry Henry recently about his stance and he made a real telling point. If you try post a video on Instagram and it has got a Justin Bieber song, if that’s not copyrighted, you can’t do it. It doesn’t even allow you to post it.

“But you can call someone a n*****, you can put a monkey emoji, and it doesn’t mean anything apparently.

“I have reported thousands in the last year, thousands of them. I have had four posts removed because it has to come under a certain guideline, a certain term.”

Hearing Deeney talk openly and honestly about a subject he is passionate about means it comes as little surprise that he has launched a podcast.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The first season of ‘Deeney Talks’ is released on Friday, with about as diverse a line-up of guests as you could possibly imagine.

Elton John, Anthony Joshua, Louis Theroux, Eddie Hearn, comedian Mo Gilligan and Ian Wright all appear across the episodes.

Deeney already has more guests lined up for the second season, but in the long-term he is looking to diversify the talent on his show after being inspired by Joe Rogan’s ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast.

“Don’t get me wrong, I am never going to compare myself to Joe Rogan,” he says. “But I want to get to a point where I have enough of a fan base where I could get you on and we could talk.

“(Rogan) is definitely the pinnacle. He will speak to a sleep doctor, an army vet, there are all different types of characters he gets on there.

“That’s what I ultimately want to get to. It doesn’t have to be about a huge celebrity or huge storm, let’s just talk about what’s new this week. I want that to be the focus.”

Troy Deeney’s ‘Deeney Talks’ podcast is available on all major streaming platforms now.

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