Wayne Rooney has called for football to adopt a unified anti-racism message in the wake of “cowardly” abuse of Colin Kazim-Richards.
London-born Kazim-Richards, 34, who has 37 caps for Turkey, received vile social media abuse after scoring Derby’s equaliser against local rivals Nottingham Forest last week.
It forced the striker to have to explain to his young children why racism and discrimination still exists.
Appalled Rams boss Rooney wants the social media companies to do more to punish offenders and remove anonymity from accounts.
But he also believes the football authorities, in conjunction with clubs, should work together to come up with a new unified approach.
Many clubs have embraced Black Lives Matter but some teams and individuals, including Kazim-Richards and team-mate Andre Wisdom, are now standing instead of taking the knee before kick-off.
Rooney, whose side lost at Cardiff on Tuesday, reflected: “There are people who are sat at home on their phone or their computer and are cowards.
“They would never do it face to face.
“I think the quicker something can get sorted out to bring the identity of these individuals out, the better.
“It is not fair for Colin to sit at home and have to explain to his children. We have to support him and not just Colin but the rest of the players as well.
“No one wants to see racism in football or any walk of life, we back that.
“I noticed the last game, Andre was standing up as well and Colin was standing up not taking the knee.
“I spoke to Colin about it and he said he wants to stand because he is a proud person which I have no problem at all with.
“But there needs to be a message and that message needs to be as one.
“I think the league has to deal with it.
“I don’t think it is right some teams are kneeling and some teams aren’t.
“There maybe needs to be a different message which everyone sticks together with.
“Otherwise it creates confusion why some players are kneeling and why some aren’t.
“It would be a more powerful message if everyone was doing the same.”
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