Police open criminal investigation into racist Instagram message sent to Brentford star Ivan Toney

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Police are opening a criminal investigation into a racist Instagram message sent to Brentford striker Ivan Toney after he was called a ‘black c***’… and Meta say they couldn’t intervene as DMs are a “private space”

  • Police have opened a criminal investigation into racist insults directed at Ivan Toney
  • The Brentford striker revealed he was called a ‘black c***’ on Instagram
  • Toney scored twice against Brighton before getting the message
  • The detailed investigation is being carried out by the Central Football Police Unit
  • Tech company Meta said it couldn’t intervene unless Toney reports abuse in the app

Police have opened a criminal investigation into racist social media abuse received by Ivan Toney on Instagram following Friday’s win over Brighton.

After scoring twice, the Brentford striker posted screenshots of a message sent from an Instagram account in the name of Antonio Neill in which he was called a ‘black c***’.

Over the weekend, police confirmed they contacted Toney.

Police have opened an investigation into racial slurs sent to Ivan Toney on Instagram

Toney scored both goals in Brentford's 2-0 home win over Brighton on Friday night

Toney scored both goals in Brentford’s 2-0 home win over Brighton on Friday night

And officers have now escalated the case, with Brentford issued an official crime number while police take the necessary statements.

It is understood that the case is being handled by the Central Football Police Unit.

“No one should receive racist messages like this. We have messaged the victim asking him to contact the police,” a police spokesperson said.

Toney revealed he got the message after Friday's game against Brighton

Toney revealed he got the message after Friday’s game against Brighton

Toney shared a screenshot of the 'black c***' message sent to him from an account apparently by Antonio Neill on Instagram, an account that no longer appears to exist

Toney shared a screenshot of the ‘black c***’ message sent to him from an account apparently by Antonio Neill on Instagram, an account that no longer appears to exist

“Police investigations are ongoing.” Meanwhile, tech company Meta, which owns Instagram, revealed it couldn’t take action against the account because no reports had been made through the popular social media app.

Instagram owners Meta say they can't intervene unless Toney flags the post in the app

Instagram owners Meta say they can’t intervene unless Toney flags the post in the app

A spokesperson for Meta said: ‘No one should experience racist abuse and posting messages like this is completely against our rules.’

“DMs are private spaces, which means we can’t take action unless someone reports the message to us in the app – but we also want to help protect people from having to see this abuse in first place.”

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