A window cleaner who made a racist slur about black England footballers on social media has claimed that he is facing a wave of abuse and has complained: ‘No one deserves this’.
Shaun Drewery, owner of North Ferriby Cleaning Services, made the comment after an associate posted a picture on Facebook of the England Under 17s football team alongside an image of their senior 1966 World Cup-winning counterparts.
The post was quickly picked up and shared across the site, including to a Black Lives Matter page. Hull Live reports that Mr Drewery made the comments weeks before England’s Euros final defeat to Italy on Sunday, but they re-emerged as Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho faced a wave of racist abuse for missing penalties.
Mr Drewery, who lives in North Ferriby, Yorkshire, had initially claimed his phone had been stolen, but later admitted making the posts. Screenshots shared on Facebook appear to show Mr Drewery referring to the young England players as ‘c****s’.
He has claimed that the slur was just ‘banter’ and ‘flippant’, and has complained that he is facing abuse from horrified locals. The window cleaner has seen his business page bombarded with zero-rating reviews after one Facebook page dedicated to local trades encouraged its followers to post their views on him.
Mr Drewery said: ‘I wrote one flippant word, on a post that wasn’t mine, which has been blown massively out of context. My friend posted this original post and me and my friend commented on it, four weeks ago.
‘Yes it was stupid tongue-in-cheek banter, again, not on mine or my friend’s wall. I’ve had so many death threats. The police are involved about these threats and realise it has got out of control as tongue-in-cheek banter.’
Window cleaner Shaun Drewery, who made a racist slur about black England footballers on social media, has claimed that he is facing a wave of abuse and has complained: ‘No one deserves this’
Mr Drewery, owner of North Ferriby Cleaning Services, made the sickening comment after an associate posted a picture on Facebook of the England Under 17s football team alongside an image of their senior 1966 World Cup-winning counterparts
Mr Drewery, who lives in North Ferriby, Yorkshire, had initially claimed his phone had been stolen, but later admitted making the posts. Screenshots shared on Facebook appear to show Mr Drewery referring to the young England players as ‘c****s’
He said he has had to install CCTV, dash cam and body-cams to protect himself.
The comments have re-emerged amid a raging public furore after Saka, Rashford and Sancho were subjected to horrific abuse following Sunday’s heartbreak final at Wembley Stadium
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of the racist tweets made by some England football fans: ‘To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players, I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged.’
Police have made a number of arrests, including a 37-year-old Savills estate agent accused of sending racist messages from his Twitter account.
Mr Drewery has said he has received a verbal warning from Humberside Police, adding: ‘Nobody deserves this kind of abuse over one flippant word.’ He also says he is on medication and has been suffering from health issues.
Many social media users called for him to be banned from Facebook, with one person writing: ‘Wants banning off social media for the rest of his life!!! What a world we live in.’
The original post has been shared by several social media accounts including a Hull group called Make Racists Afraid Again, which shared it to their followers and encouraged them to boycott his business.
A community page in Swanland and Ferriby has been inundated with posts and put out a statement asking members to stop posting screenshots of his comments as they had received a Facebook violation warning.
Their post said: ‘There is a member of our community who has posted racist comments on his Facebook page. He is NOT a member of this group. We cannot tolerate racist comments even from people sharing to show their disgust at this behaviour.
England’s Bukayo Saka applauds fans after the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night
Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians
‘My advice is to everyone is to report the pages of people writing this filth. Get them banned.’
Twitter and Facebook have been ‘working very closely’ with investigating police officers, who say they are digging into dozens of people’s racist tweets after five people were arrested in the wake of Sunday’s final.
The tech giants will provide names, emails and IP addresses of users who are believed to have sent discriminatory messages if requested by the authorities, the Times reports.
The UK Football Policing Unit yesterday provided an update on its investigation following abusive posts targeting Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in the wake of the Three Lions’ defeat on penalties to Italy.
Three of the suspects have already been publicly identified – plasterer Brad Pretty, 49, from Folkestone, Kent; estate agent Andrew Bone, 37, from Sale, Cheshire; and children’s football coach Nick Scott, 50, from Powick, Worcestershire.
A fourth suspect, a 37-year-old man from Ashton-upon-Mersey in Greater Manchester, was then arrested yesterday, officials said, before a fifth, a 42-year-old man from Runcorn was then detained by police in Cheshire.
Twitter said it had removed more than 1,000 posts in the 24 hours during and after the match, and suspended a number of accounts for violating its rules. Facebook said it too had quickly removed abusive comments on its platform and Instagram.
Data from analytics company Crisp, which works with top-flight football clubs, found England players faced 12,500 hate messages on social media during Euro 2020, including banana and monkey emojis.
The abuse from 10,000 accounts was aimed directly at players, through Twitter and Instagram, and includes comments about race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, as well as extreme personal abuse and threats of harm, including to family members.
The number of abusive accounts equates to 3 per cent of all users posting to the players’ accounts during the tournament.
Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s chief executive, told the Times that mistakes in the company’s detection software had allowed abusive posts to slip through, but that these had now been fixed.
He explained: ‘It is absolutely not OK to send racist emojis, or any kind of hate speech, on Instagram’.
A UKFPU statement read: ‘Following England’s defeat against Italy on Sunday a torrent of racist comments aimed at some of the team’s black players appeared on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
‘A hate crime investigation is under way by the UKFPU, with a dedicated team of investigators working their way through a large number of reports from across the country. So far, dozens of data applications have been submitted to social media companies and four people have been arrested by local police forces.’