Leading agent Jonathan Barnett has joined Brentford and the Premier League in condemning the online racist abuse suffered by Ivan Toney.
Barnett has called on football authorities and social media platforms to increase their involvement with law makers to ensure perpetrators are punished.
Toney’s representative Barnett, head of talent agency ICM Stellar, has hit out at the internet attacks on his client, saying: ‘I unequivocally condemn the racist abuse our player Ivan Toney has been subjected to on social media.
‘Everyone at ICM Stellar is shocked that these types of unconscionable and vile behaviours are still prevalent in society today.
‘This is sadly not the first time Ivan has received racist abuse online and social media can no longer ignore a widespread and recurring problem across its platforms.
Brentford and England striker Ivan Toney has once again suffered vile online racist abuse
Toney’s agent Jonathan Barnett called on football authorities and social media platforms to do more to stamp out discrimination
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‘We call on all forms of social media to do more to prevent, address and combat unacceptable and distressing incidents of discrimination such as this.
‘My team will conduct an investigation and pass on any findings to the appropriate authorities — we will not just be bystanders.
‘Some time ago I personally instituted a diversity and inclusivity department at our agency and headed by Pokuaa Ansere, we have taken considerable action against all forms of discrimination.
‘We continue this fight and will never give in to prejudice, intolerance or hate.
‘We now call upon all clubs, institutions, fellow agencies and governing bodies to join us and send out a clear message that we stand united against racist, discriminatory or unacceptable levels of abuse.
‘I personally stand with Ivan, his family and friends, as well as anyone else who has been subjected to discrimination.
‘We implore the football world to kick it out — once and for all.’
Brentford released their own statement that read: ‘We are angered and frustrated to report that Ivan Toney has been subjected to racist abuse on Instagram once more.
Toney pictured in action during Brentford’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on Monday night
‘We have initiated investigations into this vile harassment which we condemn in the strongest terms.
‘Sadly, this isn’t the first time Ivan has had to deal with this. A similar incident occurred just four weeks ago, leading us to identify an alleged perpetrator whom we reported to the authorities. To date, we have yet to see any action taken against that individual.
‘In general, the response from social media platforms to these ongoing issues has been underwhelming. Their solutions, such as filters to simply hide the abuse may safeguard the players, but miss the mark entirely and do not discourage the offenders. Without real consequences for those responsible, the cycle is doomed to repeat.
‘We do have faith that things can change. We appreciate the dialogue that we have with the likes of Meta but we call for more decisive and urgent action to combat online hate. We call for prompt investigations, and importantly, we call for criminal prosecutions.
‘We will continue to work with the authorities and the Premier League and to support our players as we tackle this awful online abuse.’
A Premier League statement added: ‘The Premier League strongly condemns discrimination of any kind and continues to support players and clubs to tackle online hate. Nobody should be subjected to racist abuse and it has no place in our game.
Toney with Bees manager Thomas Frank following his return to action last month
‘The Premier League will continue to support Ivan Toney via its dedicated online abuse reporting system, which was launched in June 2020 to support players, managers, match officials and their family members who receive discriminatory online abuse.
‘The service enables those affected to notify the Premier League of abuse received via direct and open messages on social media platforms.’
Since 2019, Premier League officials has been monitoring social media outlets to report abuse directed at players, imploring companies to remove offensive material from their platforms.
The Premier League’s reporting mechanisms saw a man from North Shields who sent an abusive message on social media to Toney in March 2023 banned from every stadium in the country for three years and handed a four-month suspended sentence.
In June 2021, a man in Singapore was found guilty of sending serious online abuse to Brighton forward Neal Maupay and was convicted of crimes relating to harassment following an investigation and formal criminal complaint filed by the Premier League.