Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has come out in support of Southampton fullback Kyle Walker-Peters after he received racial abuse online.
The Red Devils played out a goalless draw against Southampton at Old Trafford in the Premier League on March 12. Walker-Peters put in a challenge on United youngster Alejandro Garnacho, who appeared injured and was subbed off late in the game.
Walker-Peters received disturbing racial abuse on his social media after the game in reference to his tackle on Garnacho. The English defender put out an Instagram post on Monday (March 13) regarding the issue and wrote:
“Proud of a hard earned point in a tough game at Old Trafford. Especially since we feel we could have had a bit more. It was a big effort from everyone. Thank you to the travelling supporters especially who made the journey to help push us on.”
“On a personal level, the racial abuse I received is something that no player or person should ever have to experience. We need to be better, and this is bigger than just football. More needs to be done to prevent this from happening time and time again.
“Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support since, I appreciate each and every one of you.”
Walker-Peters also sent a message to Garnacho, writing:
“Finally, to @garnacho7 it would never be my intention to injure a fellow professional. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back in action as soon as possible.”
Manchester United defender Varane then showed his support for the Southampton fullback, commenting:
“Bigger than football. Well said Kyle, you have my support.”
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on Alejandro Garnacho’s injury
Erik ten Hag replaced Garnacho with Fred in added time against Southampton and the Argentine forward went straight into the tunnel to receive treatment. He was also seen leaving Old Trafford on crutches.
Speaking about Garnacho’s injury and substitution after the game, the Manchester United manager said (via Manchester Evening News):
“He was limping a little bit after a bad tackle. So in the end I thought they bring on another striker, a tall one, I don’t want to go for a risk, we were already down to 10, to go to maybe 90%, that’s why I took him off but I think it’s not too bad.”
Manchester United will next face Real Betis away in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 16 tie on March 16. They won the first leg 4-1 on March 9.