Police arrest 12-year-old boy for sending Wilfried Zaha racist messages
13 July 2020, 11:34 | Updated: 13 July 2020, 12:50
A 12-year-old boy has been arrested after sending racist messages to Crystal Palace football player, Wilfried Zaha.
A 12-year-old boy from Solihull, Birmingham has been arrested after sending several racist messages to Crystal Palace footballer, Wilfried Zaha.
On Sunday morning (Jul 12) Zaha took to Twitter reveal a series of racist messages he had received from an Aston Villa fan on Instagram.
Warning: Sensitive topic involving offensive racist language
The Instagram user, who goes by the name 'jackdolan_avfc', sent Zaha photos of the Ku Klux Klan and told the Zaha: ‘You better not score tomorrow you black c***. Or I’ll come to your house dressed as a ghost.’
The messages have been thought to have been sent on the eve of Crystal Palace’s game against Aston Villa.
The screenshot Zaha uploaded, exposing the racist abuse he received, went viral with many people outraged online.
On Sunday (Jul 12) after the widespread call for justice online, West Midlands Police confirmed that a 12-year-old had been detained in connection with the racist abuse.
#ARRESTED| We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy.— West Midlands Police - #StayAlert (@WMPolice) July 12, 2020
The 12-year-old from #Solihull has been taken to custody.
Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won't be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/oFxBUvdtV1
The West Midlands police wrote ‘We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking in them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy,’ a statement read.
‘The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken to custody. ‘Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated’.
Zaha has responded to the police's response in a statement below.
Roy Hodgson, who is Crystal Palace's manager, fully supported Zaha going public with racist messages he received.
Hodgson also revealed that both the Eagles and Villa were working together to find the person who sent the messages.
‘It is very saddening on the day of a game that a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse,’ said the former England manager.
‘I think it is right that Wilf made people aware of it; I don’t think it is something he should keep quiet about. There is literally no excuse; there is no excuse at all’.