Arsenal summer signing, Willian, has had his fair share of abuse on social media. The Brazilian has not had the best start to life at the Emirates, as he has performed below expectations. This has made fans troop to his social media at some times, writing vile comments about him and the team.
Although the attacking midfielder has said that he can always take criticism for poor performances, but he will never tolerate racism or vile messages aimed at his family and this is why he has strongly backed the recent #StopOnlineAbuse campaign launched by the club.
The club launched the #StopOnlineAbuse campaign last week, and called on fans of the club to help identify, condemn and highlight these vile and racial comments on social media.
As we prepare to face Slavia Prague in the first leg of our Europa League quarter final tie, Willian spoke to the press and highlighted the impact the abuse has had on him this season.
“I was in that situation one month ago,” he said. “It was very difficult for me because I have a lot of things on my phone and I saw a lot of horrible words against my family for example. After that, I said to myself, ‘Enough is enough, I have to try something’ – to take action against racism and online abuse. I am proud because the club is doing that, they are helping us a lot and I will never stop my fight against racism.”
“It’s really, really affected me when they say about my family,” he added. “As I’ve said before, if they want to criticise me, that’s no problem, I will always accept that. But when they come to attack you and your family with bad words that I cannot say here, that hurts. That’s really affected me and it’s a big problem.
“I feel that straight away I want to delete my social media accounts. I have seen some people [do that] because of the racism and the abuse and straight away I want to do that, but when you think and take a few minutes and relax a little bit more… but the first action is to delete straight away!”
The Brazilian also admitted that he gets scared to pick up his phone after a loss.
“Sometimes yes, to be honest, because we are human. I want to understand who these people are and who they think they are to come to speak like that with us. We are professional and we do the best to help the team on the pitch.
“We want to win and we always want to win. We never want to lose, but we have our bad days and sometimes we’re not feeling good and having problems like everyone has.
“We have personal problems and families have a lot of problems as well, so sometimes you’re not in a good day, you have a bad game and they come and they say these kind of words that hurt you. That’s why we want to stop it. Enough is enough.”
At Canoncrested, we condemn such vile and racial comments and we implore fans of the club to stop such acts.