Wilfried Zaha News: A 12-year-old boy has been taken into custody by West Midlands Police after allegedly sending racist messages via social media to football star Wilfried Zaha. Zaha plays for Crystal Palace, a team in England’s Premier League. Upon receiving the offensive messages on Instagram, Zaha shared them on both Instagram and Twitter with his followers just prior to Crystal Palace’s match with Aston Villa.
The boy allegedly sent Zaha a message reading, “You better not score tomorrow you black c**t. Or I’ll come to your house dressed as a ghost.” In addition to the message, there was an image of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as an image of a box of cereal called “C**n Flakes.”
Crystal Palace called the boy’s apparent actions “an absolute disgrace.” And Aston Villa said they would issue a lifetime ban to the boy or whomever the police determine sent the disturbing messages.
“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,” said the West Midlands Police in a tweet. “The 12-year-old from #Solihull has been taken to custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated.”
The Premier League also made a statement. “This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the Premier League stands alongside Wilfried Zaha in opposing this, and discrimination in any form,” the league said on social media. “There is #NoRoomForRacism, anywhere.”
The person who posted the racist messages later posted an apology to Zaha in a pic of Aston Villa players taking a knee. The apology said “Sorry” with a sad face and a praying hands emoji.
It’s not the first time Zaha, who is from the Ivory Coast, has been on the receiving end of racial abuse. He was the target of racism last year, and he said he received death threats after winning a penalty kick for Crystal Palace against Arsenal in October 2018.
West Midlands Police said the 12-year-old boy has been released but is still under investigation.