Mal Benning faces online racial abuse

Mal Benning (Photo: Pete Norton/Getty Images).
Mal Benning (Photo: Pete Norton/Getty Images).

AN Asian-origin British footballer has faced online racial abuse.

Mansfield Town defender Mal Benning, 26, said he was left stunned by a racist tweet on Monday (13).

Commenting on the tweet he received, he said: “It made me feel a bit sick when I first saw it. The language that was used was quite disheartening. I was shocked”.

Benning earned acclamation across the game for highlighting the online abuse by quoting the tweet with the comment: “Not experienced much ‘racism’ as one of very few Asian players in the professional game. But there is no need for this no matter what race you are or what team you support.”

Benning was one of the Asian-origin players in league football in the UK.

Benning said he was taken aback by the tweet as he had never previously experienced racism as a football player in the game.

He was quoted by Sky Sports News: “I finished training, went home as everyone does and I just received a Twitter notification and thought it was just general football stuff”.

“But when I looked at it – a racially abusive tweet – I was quite stunned and taken aback because it is the first time I have experienced it in professional football.

“The first thing I did was contact the head of media at Mansfield and asked him what I should do. He gave me the right advice which was to raise awareness about it, which I did.”

Born in Birmingham to Punjabi family who came to Britain from India, Benning hopes what he has witnessed  does not discourage aspiring young Asian players who are on their way to achieve success in the game.

When asked about the reaction he has received in the days since, Benning said: “It was superb. As everyone knows, I tagged the PFA and Kick It Out, and both were first class as were the chairman, the manager, the CEO and the fans.

“The players at Mansfield have also been top drawer and made sure I was okay. The support I got from everyone – including other football fans – was superb.”

The professional football player has urged the social media giant to focus more to stop such abuses and regulate such accounts.