Mikel Arteta reveals he and his family have been victims of online threats and Arsenal boss now refuses to check social media because comments would make him ‘stay in bed’
Mikel Arteta has revealed how he and his family suffered threats on social media
Arsenal boss is one of few managers with Twitter account – and 1.5m followers
But the Spaniard no longer logs on, saying he would ‘have to stay in bed’ if he did
Arsenal spoke to players to offer advice and warn about dangers of online abuse
Mikel Arteta has revealed how he and his family suffered threats on social media, with Arsenal having spoken to their players to offer advice and warn about the dangers of online abuse.
His family was targeted and the club addressed the issue internally, though Arteta says he no longer checks his social media because he fears it would have a heavy impact on him.
‘We are all exposed in this industry to that and that’s why I prefer not to read because it would affect me personally, much more the moment somebody wants to touch my family,’ Arteta said.
‘It happened, the club was aware of it and we tried to do something about it. That’s it. We have to live with it. It is not going to stop tomorrow, we know that, but medium, long term, can we do something about it? That’s what I am pushing for.’
Arsenal host Leeds United on Sunday. Arteta says he has noticed a very stark difference in the mood on social media when he wins versus when he loses.
‘It is part of the job, honestly,’ Arteta said. ‘I am not the only one who is suffering these kind of things. I think when you are winning, everything is beautiful and you are incredible and you are the best coach. When you lose it is the complete opposite. That is the reality and it is not pleasant.
‘If we read everything that is written about us, probably we’d have to stay in bed a lot of days. It is great that people have the ability and so many platforms and ways to communicate and give their opinions. The only thing I am asking is to be respectful. Do it in a respectful way.
‘You don’t have to batter anybody or try to hurt anybody. When it is constructive, I think everybody can take criticism. But when people are just with that intention of hurting, that’s when it becomes silly. It is just finding that balance.
‘When it goes personal against me I can take it, but when the family is involved then it is a different story. We are lucky enough that the club is very supportive. We do what we have to do when those things happen.’
‘We spoke internally about the players and tried to give them some advice and protect them as much as possible,’ Arteta added. ‘The incident with Mike Dean is completely unacceptable.
‘We should all stand for him and support Mike. They (the referees) have a tremendously difficult role at the moment in the league with a lot of key decisions which effect teams one way or the other. At the same time they try to do their best, prepare the best possible way and we all make mistakes. We have to support them.’
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce revealed on Thursday that he had death threats from some supporters following their 11-match run without a win.
Football goes on the attack against Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to force them to finally take down social media trolls
Football is gathering its forces to mount an attack on social media companies in an effort to make them take action over online hate messages to players and officials, including death threats made to the family of referee Mike Dean.
The sport’s governing bodies have lost patience with the tech giants after a torrid few weeks in which vile abuse has been directed at a host of high-profile figures.
Football officials have told Sportsmail they have been speaking to the companies for years without seeing significant progress.
But this week, as football prepares to get tough on tech, Instagram has vowed to do more to tackle abuse.
In recent days, clubs and the Premier League have adopted a zero-tolerance policy to abuse.
They are increasingly referring cases to the police, but there is a consensus that Twitter, Instagram and Facebook must do more to stop the hate at source, or at least be able to identify perpetrators, so they can be kicked off the platforms and dealt with by clubs or the law.
Now, the Premier League, EFL, Football Association and Kick It Out are joining forces to demand the social media firms take decisive action to protect players and are expected to issue a strongly-worded joint statement demanding a response.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Anthony Martial, Southampton’s Alex Jankewitz, and West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers have all reported that they have been racially abused on social media.
Manchester United and England Women forward Lauren James, Reece’s younger sister, is the latest footballer to have been subjected to sickening racist abuse on social media.
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