Thierry Henry quits social media over racism and bullying

March 27, 2021

Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry says he is removing himself from social media because of racism and bullying across platforms.

The ex-Arsenal and Barcelona star, who won the World Cup with France in 1998, announced on Friday that he would be quitting his social media accounts until tech companies started doing more to hold users accountable for their actions.

Henry, 43, posted a message to his 2.3m followers on Twitter on Friday saying the problem was “too toxic to ignore”.

He said he would not return to social media until companies “regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright”.

“It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous,” wrote the Frenchman.

“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore.”

Thierry Henry takes a knee as a sign of a fight to stop racism

Thierry Henry won two Premier League titles with Arsenal, where he played between 1999 and 2007.

Last September, he detailed instances of racism he experienced during his playing career with Arsenal and France.

“We need to make people aware that we are in pain,” said Henry. “Enough is enough. You fast forward and we’re still in the same situation.”

In Friday’s message, Henry added: “From tomorrow morning, I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.

“Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I’m hoping this happens soon.”

Social media companies have insisted they are working to tackle the problem but Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said on Twitter they “must do more”.