'Don't feel sorry for us', says Villa's Mings after online racial abuse

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Leeds United v Aston Villa - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - February 27, 2021 Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings reacts Pool via REUTERS/Laurence Griffiths

(Reuters) - Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings became the latest footballer to receive racial abuse on social media and the England defender on Friday urged his followers to "fight for change" rather than sympathising with him.

Mings, 28, posted a screenshot on his Twitter account of a racist message sent to him on Instagram.

"Another day in the life of social media with no filter," Mings wrote. "Please don't feel sorry for us, just stand side by side in the fight for change. Social media isn't getting any safer without it."

Villa said they were "disgusted" by the "abhorrent" message.

"We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Tyrone, who is an inspirational figure at the forefront of the fight against racism," the club said in a statement.

A host of players at other Premier League clubs have also been targeted including Manchester United trio Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcus Rashford, and Chelsea's Reece James.

With English soccer bodies piling pressure on social media companies to tackle the issue, Instagram has announced measures and Twitter vowed to continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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