Premier League

Nicolas Pepe faces racist abuse after red card against Leeds United

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on July 12, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Nicolas Pepe was sent off in Arsenal’s match against Leeds United after referee Anthony Taylor was alerted to a possible headbutt when Leeds defender Ezgjan Alioski went down.

Following a VAR review it was clear that Pepe had indeed headbutted Alioski, giving Taylor no choice but to show Pepe a straight red card in a match that was scoreless.

The Ivorian international has since suffered racist abuse on social media and was subjected to vile abuse from trolls online.

Former England and Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips posted a screenshot of some of the abuse targeted at Pepe on Twitter and said: “And Twitter say they are protecting people from racial abuse! When is it enough and when will it stop?!?”.

The abuse directed at Pepe comes three weeks after Tottenham winger Ryan Sessegnon was the target of similar online racial slurs. Sessegnon, who is currently on loan at German club Hoffenheim, posted a screenshot of messages he received on Instagram.

Other black players, including Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Mancehster City’s Raheem Sterling, have been targeted in the past.

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