Manchester United Defender Axel Tuanzebe Subject To Vile Racist Abuse After His Side’s Loss To Sheffield United Last Night

by : Emily Brown on : 28 Jan 2021 11:20
Manchester United Defender Axel Tuanzebe Subject To Vile Racist Abuse After His Side's Loss To Sheffield United Last NightPA Images

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has reportedly deleted his Twitter account after being subject to racist abuse following their loss to Sheffield United.

Tuanzebe’s side took on bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United at Old Trafford yesterday, January 27, with the latter securing a shock 2-1 Premier League victory.


The defender lined up alongside Harry Maguire in his first league start of the season, though he was substituted in the 82nd minute. The Red Devils dominated possession throughout the game, but two instances of poor defending ultimately led to the loss.

Following the match, social media trolls took to Instagram and Twitter to post racist comments about Tuanzebe on old photos. According to Sky News, Manchester United forward Anthony Martial was also subject to abuse.

A number of reports suggested 23-year-old Tuanzebe deleted his Twitter account after he was targeted, though indirect comments continued to appear, with some users describing him as ‘trash’ and ‘stupid’ while others posted racist emojis.


Many football fans have condemned the racism, with one Twitter user encouraging followers to ‘please go post something nice on Axel Tuanzebe instagram page’.

He continued:

I’m sick of seeing all this racial abuse on players. They are humans too and people make mistakes and he’s so young!

It’s time we start taking a bigger stand against racism!


Another wrote:

Axel Tuanzebe had to delete his Twitter account and post on Instagram because of racist comments. Welcome to the 21st century. I’m absolutely lost for words how embarrassing this is.


Statistics from Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, found that reports of racial abuse increased by 53% in professional football throughout the 2019/2020 season – the latest report available – compared to the previous year.

A YouGov poll of more than 1,000 football fans also found that 39% of fans surveyed had witnessed or heard an act of discrimination during the 2019/2020 season.

Of those surveyed, 71% said they had witnessed racist comments on social media directed at a footballer, and 51% of fans had also witnessed online racism directed at a fan of a different team to their own.

Neither Tuanzebe or Martial appear to have spoken out about the comments at the time of writing, January 28.

Axel TuanzebeAxel Tuanzebe/Instagram

Former Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards addressed racism in football in a recent documentary titled Micah Richards: Tackling Racism in Football. 

After speaking with Richards, Sky Sports News reporter Richard Grave stressed the importance of keeping up the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, noting, ‘The critical thing is that message can’t be lost and it’s up to people like him, to us as broadcasters in a position of responsibility to keep sight of that message.’

Grave said that while it’s ‘all well and good highlighting these issues’, the conversation will not move forward unless something ‘proactive and tangible’ comes of it.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Sport, Football, Manchester United, Premier League, Racism


Sky Sports News and 2 others
  1. Sky Sports News

    Manchester United duo Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe racially abused after Sheffield United defeat

  2. Sky Sports News

    Micah Richards: Documentary stresses importance of learning why racism takes place

  3. Kick It Out