Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has sounded the alarm on racial abuse of black players ahead of the European Championships.
Speaking during an interview with CNN, Lukaku cautioned that racial abuse in football is currently at all time high.
“I think racism in football right now is at the all-time high. Why? Because of social media now as well. I understand why people like Thierry Henry are blocking social media because it’s easy, you can track somebody down. The social media companies, they have to do more for me,” said Lukaku.
Henry, a former France international, quit social media in March this year over increased cases of racist abuse and bullying online.
Lukaku reflected on his own cases where he suffered racial abuse, the Inter Milan striker has received racial abuse a number of times throughout his football career.
In 2019 just when Lukaku moved from English side Manchester United to Italian side Inter Milan, a group of Cagliari supporters aimed monkey chants at him.
Lukaku was subjected to the racist abuse after scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory. It was just his second game for Inter Milan after joining from Man United in the transfer window.
“For me, to be honest, I don’t really see progress. I see a lot of campaigns and all that stuff, but really until there is no real action taken. In Italy, when it happened to me directly, there was something that was done because the Serie A really communicated with me and my team,” said Lukaku.
“And we basically tried to educate people in Italy that it is not good, because in Italy, it is a beautiful country and I’ve been accepted really well by everybody, home fans, away fans. I think when that happened, it changed. That’s what all the leagues should do. They should talk to the players and basically try to start doing things with the players and with their teams.”
Lukaku further stressed that the same zeal that football governing bodies had when they passionately shut down the proposed Super League is the same energy they should use to end racism in football.
“When the Super League started, people were very quick to shut it down on social media, people and fans were going on the streets. I’m the same, I didn’t want it to happen. But why don’t you put the same energy when it’s about racism as well? Because it’s the same platforms, basically,” said Lukaku.