Man Utd ban six fans for abusing Heung-Min Son after review into online comments

Manchester United have suspended six fans for abusing Heung-Min Son on social media following their match with Tottenham last month.

Suspensions have been issued to three season ticket holders, two official members and one person on the season ticket waiting list for abusing Son after United's 3-1 win on April 11.

The disciplinary action underlines United's determination to fight discrimination and comes after the club carried out a review into online abuse suffered by its players.

The review looked at online activity from September 2019 to February 2021 and checked for abusive words being used against players’ names or account handles and covered racist, homophobic and abusive comments.

The analysis found that since September 2019, there has been a 350 per cent increase in abuse directed towards the club’s players.

Every abusive post was categorised, with 3,300 posts targeting players who were playing for United at that time across the reporting period.

The review found that 86 per cent of the posts were racist, while eight per cent were homophobic or transphobic.

The discriminatory activity peaked in January 2021, with over 400 abusive player posts recorded.

The vast majority of racist posts contained either the 'N' word – or variants on the spelling – or emojis used with racist intent, such as monkey, chimp, banana and gorilla.

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United's review also found that fans are being subjected to increased abuse on social media, with a sharp rise from the summer of 2020, with 43 per cent of posts racist in nature and seven per cent homophobic or transphobic.

United are one of many clubs taking part in a social media boycott, from 3pm yesterday until midnight on Monday, in protest at online abuse.

Along with many other clubs, United's official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts will fall silent across the world.

Richard Arnold, United Group Managing Director, said: “We have been actively campaigning against discrimination for some time through our All Red All Equal initiative.

“The level of support we have received for this work from our fans has been hugely encouraging but these figures show that despite that, the level of abuse our players and fans receive is on the up.”

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