Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says abuse makes Paul Pogba “stronger”, but has called for an end to the alarming rise of racist comments on social media.
A World Cup winner on the books at Old Trafford has become the latest high-profile sporting figure to be subjected to insults from online trolls.
Pogba was targeted after missing a penalty during United’s 1-1 Premier League draw away at Wolves.
Those at Old Trafford have rallied around him as a collective, with the club and a number of team-mates posting messages of support while condemning those responsible for another sorry episode.
Solskjaer feels more needs to be done in order to combat the issue, but has no concerns when it comes to Pogba and his strength in the face of adversity.
“Paul’s fine,” the Red Devils boss told reporters ahead of a meeting with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
“Paul’s a strong character and it makes him stronger. When you speak to him, he’s fine and I just cannot believe we’re still sat here in 2019 talking about these instances.
“Social media is a place where people – as Harry [Maguire] said – can hide behind fake identities, I don’t think it’s not down to me to change it but there are so many Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s on Twitter I know it’s not me! We’ve got to do something about it and the authorities have got to do something about the ones who spread this hate.
“We need to protect individuals and protect people. When there are death threats and racism, they are serious incidents. Sometimes you get annoyed.
“What can we do about it? Us as Man United, we’re not going to ban our players on social media, we have to spread the good word, because there is so much good we can use social media for but we have to stop those incidents.”
United have moved to hold discussions with Twitter regarding their platform, while Solskjaer admits the issue of racism in sport and wider society has been discussed by those in his dressing room.
The Norwegian added: “It’s natural for them, they’re a team, we talk about the team spirit, it’s natural for us as human beings and team-mates that we look after each other and you won’t see any of ours criticise [each other] on social media or in the media.
“I’m sure you’re going to see that more often when we win we support each other, when we lose, we go through tough times with each other.”