Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick tells of racial abuse after first Premier League goal
Sheffield United forward David McGoldrick has revealed he was racially abused online after he scored his first-ever Premier League goal.
Speaking ahead of a social media boycott among the football community from 3pm on Friday to midnight on Monday, the Irish international told ITV’s political editor Robert Peston he deleted his social media accounts to avoid further abuse.
McGoldrick said: "I scored my first-ever Premier League goal last year, on a high sitting at home with my kids and I go into my phone and I get a message that’s speechless – the words, the emojis, what I got called, it left a sour taste in my mouth.
"It’s a bad place, social media. It’s not about how strong you are it’s just about how much you want to take on there and I’ve got kids and I’ve got to prove to them that these things aren’t right.”
The Blades’ top scorer called on social media companies to make users submit ID before they can open an account. But there are wider concerns about employing this method in countries with authoritarian regimes and illiberal democracies.
Asked what he thought the boycott would achieve, McGoldrick replied: “Whether it will achieve anything, we will find out. But I believe it’s a start. People have to speak up, we have to make actions for things to change.
"You see what happened with the Super League, you speak up and things get said then things happen. We need change. Racism is a much bigger subject than the Super League.
"We want change and we need change. Otherwise, in two, three or 20 years we will still saying the same thing.”
The 33-year-old said he was “disappointed” the outcry at plans for a European Super League from all corners, including from the government, eclipsed the response to continued discriminatory abuse.
He continued: “I was disappointed, to be fair [...] you have the Prime Minister talking about it. Racism has been going on for ages, it’s always there. It’s never on the front foot.
"We wear t-shirts sometimes, we take the knee to show our stance [...] but it’s always stuck on the back burner. Enough is enough, we have got to try and do something to stop this because it’s 2021 and this shouldn’t really be going on.”