Over the weekend Prince William spoke out against racism on the social media channels he shares with his wife, Kate Middleton, following racist abuse aimed at a several soccer players over the last week.
“Racist abuse - whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media - is despicable and it must stop now,” he wrote in a Twitter thread signed “W” for William. The Duke of Cambridge holds the ceremonial title of president of the U.K.’s Football Association.
“We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions,” the thread continued. “That responsibility extends to the platforms where so much of this activity now takes place.”
He added, “I commend all those players, supporters, clubs and organisations who continue to call out and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms.”
The condemnation came on Sunday, one day after Manchester United player Marcus Rashford took to social media to comment on the racist insults he received after his team drew 0-0 against Arsenal.
Rashford said he chose not to post screenshots because it would be “irresponsible” and “as you can imagine there’s nothing original in them.” But he called the targeted abuse “humanity and social media at its worst.”
Two of Rashford’s Black teammates received similar messages earlier this week, when Manchester United lost to Sheffield, Sky News reported. Axel Tuanzebe responded by posting an anti-racism video to Instagram, while Anthony Martial’s wife Melanie Da Cruz posted some of the death threats sent to her, Martial and their two-year-old son.
“Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game,” the team said in a statement to the BBC on Thursday. “We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also.”
Manchester police are looking into the incidents.
In speaking out against racism and online hate, Kate and William are following an example set by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. One of the main goals of Harry and Meghan’s new nonprofit, Archewell, is fostering healthy communities, online and off, and many of their public appearances over the last few months have focused on toxic online environments.
The Sussexes have long been vocal in condemning racist attacks, and specifically the ones directed at Meghan herself, since the couple first started dating.