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Joe Willock, Newcastle midfielder contemplated quitting over online racial abuse

Joe Willock, a Newcastle midfielder, has pondered quitting social media due to the racial abuse he receives on a regular basis.


The 21-year-old told BBC Radio Newcastle that he still uses the platforms because of the "great followers" that support him.


"I don't want to lose touch with the regular supporters," he explained.


Last week, Willock signed a six-year contract with St James' Park after leaving Arsenal.


The England Under-21 international believes that social media platforms must "step up" to address the issue, which has seen a number of black footballers attacked with abuse across many platforms.


Joe Willock, Newcastle midfielder, waves to his fans. Credits: Reuters

"I get messages every day," he added. "Messages regarding my skin color or other things that are quite horrible.


"There's not much you can do about it; all you can do is attempt to ignore it. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter haven't put up a strong enough fight for us to do anything else.


"I believe that in this day and age, the only thing you can do is ignore it and try to push it to the back of your mind."

"It shows up on your phone, and they have a means of sending you terrible stuff directly to your phone, and it hurts a little." Even talking about it hurts a lot."


Despite the problems he and other players have faced, Willock stated that his decision to remain active online is primarily motivated by a close relationship with his fans.


"If you leave social media, you lose that connection with all of the amazing followers who support me every day, who want to see my daily life and what I do and have that connection with me on the platform that they wouldn't have in real life," he explained.


While on loan at Newcastle in the second half of last season, Willock scored eight goals.


He was unavailable for the Magpies' 4-2 home loss to West Ham United last Sunday, but he will be available for Saturday's trip to Aston Villa.


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