Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling has been racially abused on Instagram less than 48 hours after English football’s social media boycott finished.
The abuse was flagged up to Instagram by the Daily Mail and came in the wake of City’s Champions League semi-final triumph over Paris St Germain.
A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “The racist abuse sent to Raheem Sterling is unacceptable and we do not want it on Instagram.
“We have removed the comment and taken action against the account that posted it.
“As part of our ongoing work in this space, we’ll soon be rolling out new tools to help prevent people seeing abusive messages from strangers.
“No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we’re committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse.”
Sterling has been the target of abuse on social media previously.
A study commissioned by the Professional Footballers’ Association published last October looked at social media posts directed towards 44 players during the ‘Project Restart’ period of last season.
It found more than 3,000 explicitly abusive messages were directed at those players publicly via Twitter, with 50 per cent of those messages aimed at just three players – Adebayo Akinfenwa, Wilfried Zaha and Sterling.
Sterling said at the time: “I don’t know how many times I need to say this, but football and the social media platforms need to step up, show real leadership and take proper action in tackling online abuse.
“The technology is there to make a difference, but I’m increasingly questioning if there is the will.”