Junior Stanislas has spoken publicly about the racial abuse he received on social media following Saturday’s 1-0 win away at Stoke.
Having scored the winner in the 79th minute, the winger was targeted on Twitter by an individual, who sent multiple tweets of racial abuse as well as insults regarding his family.
Following the abuse, the club released a statement in support of Stanislas and stand with the player, while working tirelessly to educate and rid the game of all forms of discrimination.
For the first time since the incident, the 31-year-old spoke publicly to Sky Sports News and discussed the impact racial abuse has.
“When I saw it, I had mixed emotions,” Stanislas began.
“At the start, there was the high of getting the three points at Stoke off the back of a defeat. We needed it so, as you can imagine, the lads and gaffer were buzzing in the dressing room.
“I got on the coach and was on the coach for a while and then I saw the message. Obviously, it went from a high to a low very quickly.
“Initially, to be honest, I didn’t really feel anything, which I guess is sad because we’ve seen it all too much now.
“It’s becoming a regular thing and, although for me personally, it’s the first time I’ve had online abuse, I’ve had it all the time growing up. I wouldn’t say I’m numb to it, but it’s becoming all too familiar.
“It was only when I sat back and analysed it with some of the lads that I saw how disgusting it was.”
When asked how his teammates and family reacted having seen the abuse, Stanislas went on to explain the different emotions that those close to him felt.
“They couldn’t believe it really.
“Family and friends felt similar to how I did. Although they knew it was disgusting, it was more positive messages like “you’ve seen it before” or “you know how to handle it”.
“Teammates were more disgusted. We have discussions going on around race at the minute and all the lads have been very supportive.”
With the Black Lives Matter campaign being a prevalent movement in society at the moment, and both Premier League and EFL players taking the knee ahead of kick-off for fixtures, Stanislas claimed that he would relish the opportunity to understand what is behind the abuse.
“I have no idea who he was, whether he was young or old, but I just don’t understand it,” he continued.
“I’m mixed race – I have a black dad and a white mum so racism to me is something I’ve never understood.
“It would be nice to understand and get the viewpoints of someone who is saying these things, what goes on and how their mind works.
“Just because someone is a certain skin colour, who do they have the right to say things about them even if we’re exactly the same but just have a different skin colour? It’s crazy really.”
It’s not just Stanislas who is affected by such abuse, as he explained how his twin boys, Alex and Jacob, have to deal with the harsh realities of discrimination.
“Without going into too much detail, my kids are twin boys and they are nine.
“In the past month both myself and one of my sons have both had racial abuse, so I had to wake up in the morning and explain to them what had happened because they had to go to school and people might mention it to them.
“The difficult thing with my sons is that, with them being twins, they’re one in a million twins. One is my colour with dark hair and dark eyes, the other one has white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes.
“The sad fact of the matter is one of them has already seen racism and sadly will see it probably throughout his life and the other one, although they’re exactly the same race, will never see it or experience it.”
“I know the Premier League are doing a lot to make people more aware of it and try and eradicate it, but racism sadly will never be fully gone.
“I think if people become more aware of it, they can act in the right manner, certainly on social media.”
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