The Gunners attacker has asked authorities to be tough on those who racially abuse players on social media.
Willian says the time has come for the authorities to act and help in soccer’s fight against racism and online abuse.
The Arsenal striker is one of several high-profile figures who has shared the abuse he has received on social media this season and admits that it has at times left him fearful to even pick up his phone.
And the 32-year-old says something has to change, calling on everyone, both inside and outside of football, to come together to help make a difference in the fight against racism.
What has been said?
Speaking about the abuse he has suffered, Willian said: “It has been difficult to talk about him.
“We, as players, cannot do much. We do what we can do. We inform it. We share it with you (the press) and we talk about it, but we want action.
“I think we have to try to find a way to stop it because it is difficult when people say horrible words about you, about your family, that is not good.
“They can criticize us for what we do on the field. I have no problem with that, no problem at all. If they want to criticize me, what I’m doing on the pitch, if I have to play better, if I have to train more, yes, I will accept it.
“But when they come to attack you with horrible words, your family, that’s not good. So we have to stop it and try to find a way to stop it. “
Willian continued: “It really affects me when they say about my family.
“As I said before, if you want to criticize me, no problem, I always accept it. But when they come to attack your family with those words, it hurts. Its a big problem “.
How bad have things gone?
Willian says the problem has gotten so big that he is often afraid to look at his phone after games.
“Yes, sometimes,” he admitted. “I was in that situation a month ago.
“It was very difficult for me because I have a lot of friends on my phone and I saw a lot of horrible words against my family, for example.
“I have seen that some people are taking down their social networks due to racism and abuse.
“Right away, I want to do that. But then when you think, take a few minutes and relax a little more. [it changes]. But the first reaction is to erase.
“After that, I tell myself that enough is enough. You have to try to do something to act against racism, online abuse, and I’m proud that the club (Arsenal) is doing it.
“They are helping us a lot. I will never stop my fight against racism. “
What does Willian want to happen?
The Brazilian international says the time has come to act.
He wants social media companies to demand the personal data of those who want to open an account, and he wants football authorities to exert their influence to help drive change.
“We need action and we as players can do what we can,” he said. “We need the authorities to take action.
“We have to find a way to change the profile of social networks. I think that people who want to have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, need to put their ID, passport or whatever.
“And then when these things happen, we can catch them, the authorities can catch them. That is the action we want. “
source: – target