Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says he may still close his social media accounts as he criticised the ‘stomach-turning’ online abuse directed at his team-mates.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane were targeted following the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final last week.
Henderson has sought to draw attention to the issue of online abuse by handing control of his accounts to the Cybersmile Foundation – a cyber-bullying charity – but says he applauds those like Thierry Henry who have come off social media altogether and does not rule out joining them.
Writing in the match programme ahead of Wednesday’s return leg against Real at Anfield, Henderson said: “I’m sick of seeing people I know, and people I don’t know, having to put up with the kind of abuse that turns my stomach. It has to stop and anyone who has a shred of decency has to play their part in making it stop.
“I didn’t (hand over the accounts to Cybersmile) lightly – I thought about it a lot and at one stage I was considering switching off all of my social media accounts in protest.
“I still have that option and I applaud those, like Thierry Henry, who have taken the ultimate step as far as this issue is concerned.
“But for now I want to see if I can turn my own feelings into something positive by shining a light on an appalling situation and seeing if some sort of positive can be extracted from it.”
Championship sides Swansea and Birmingham are involved in a week-long social media boycott which has seen those clubs stop posting from their official channels.
Rangers players and staff are also involved in a week-long boycott in support of Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe, who have both been targeted for abuse, while a number of high-profile managers have spoken out about the situation.
Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out has said it would support any Premier League-wide boycott, amid reports English top-flight clubs were considering such a move.