Gareth Bale: Wales and Spurs star would join social media boycott to fight abuse

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Wales captain Gareth Bale says he would join a boycott of social media if more is not done to combat “toxic” abuse across platforms.

Wales players Ben Cabango and Rabbi Matondo were racially abused on Instagram after Wales’ 1-0 win over over Mexico on Saturday.

Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry has said he is removing himself from social media because of racism and bullying.

“Something needs to happen,” said Bale.

“I think if everyone came together and decided to boycott social media, to make a statement [I would].

“If everybody did it at once, not just one or two people, and if we did a campaign with a lot of big influential people in sport and other forms of life came off social media to make a statement, then yeah, I think it could help.

“If that was the case, I would be all for that.”

Bale, who is on loan at Tottenham from Real Madrid, has been subjected to abuse on social media for much of his career and tends to stay away from the various platforms as a result.

His Wales team-mate Matondo criticised Instagram on Sunday, while the Football Association of Wales (FAW) says it is “disgusted by the racial abuse”.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, says it has permanently removed the accounts from which the messages were sent and is “committed to doing more”.

“I’ve had a lot of bad things said to me on social media, but I’m sure if they [Matondo and Cabango] wanted to come to me for advice they know where they am,” said Bale.

“We’ve had a brief chat, I haven’t gone into too much details. They’ve spoken with representatives of the FAW and we know obviously it’s in the hands of the police and an ongoing investigation.

“From my point of view, I try to stay off it because there’s so many toxic people trying to say negative things and put you down.

“It’s nice to be able to share what we do and how we do things, pictures of training and what we’re enjoying doing.

“But looking at those comments sometimes it’s best to stay away from it, share what you want to share and don’t read too much into the comments because there’s some horrible people out there.”

BBC

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