LONDON (AP) — Thierry Henry is quitting social media to protest online racial abuse and bullying that he said goes unregulated.
The former France great said Friday that social media companies haven’t done enough to stop abusive behavior, which regularly targets Black athletes.
“From tomorrow morning I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigor and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright,” the former Arsenal striker said.
“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore,” he said. “There HAS to be some accountability. It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous.”
Until it changes, he said he’ll be disabling his accounts “across all social media platforms.” He has 2.7 million followers on Instagram and 2.3 million on Twitter.
The 43-year-old Frenchman resigned as coach of CF Montreal in Major League Soccer last month, citing family reasons and wanting to return to London.
Henry’s statement doesn’t specify whether he’s received online abuse, but last year he discussed racism that he experienced during his playing career.
Henry, a 1998 World Cup champion with France, retired from playing in December 2014 after four-plus seasons with the New York Red Bulls.