Neil Critchley: It's right Blackpool are taking a stand against disgusting online abuse
Neil Critchley has condemned the “cowardly” racist abuse Grant Ward suffered after Blackpool’s win at Sunderland.
The 26-year-old posted a screenshot of a private message sent to his Instagram account, which read “bastard monkey”.
It was sent to Ward at 9pm on Tuesday, just minutes after Blackpool sealed a vital 1-0 win over their play-off rivals.
Ward was in magnificent form for the Seasiders but hobbled off late in the game with a calf injury.
Blackpool condemned the abuse in a strong statement, while Lancashire Police confirmed they are investigating.
Critchley said: “Unfortunately of late this has become really prevalent in society and much more so on social media because people can hide their real identities. It’s a cowardly way of attacking somebody.
“I said a few weeks ago it’s quite sad and it deflates you. It makes you question the world we live in when you hate someone so much you want to hurt them. It’s disgusting.”
Blackpool are due to take part in a social media boycott over this holiday weekend in a bid to combat online discrimination.
Organisations including the FA, Premier League and EFL have come together to arrange the boycott, which will run from 3pm today until 11.59pm on Monday.
The boycott has been scheduled to cover a full fixture programme in the men’s and women’s professional game.
It will see clubs from the Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Critchley added: “We’re joining in with the social media blackout and quite rightly so. We should all make a stand together.
“These companies need to do a lot more to stop this from happening. It shouldn’t happen.”
While Ward could miss tomorrow’s game at Northampton Town through injury, the midfielder is said to be coping well.
“Grant is fine,” Critchley said. “Obviously I spoke to him and the club is supporting him every way we can.
“He’s not happy about it obviously but he’s fine. He’s frustrated, disappointed, angry, hurt, upset ... he’s all of those things but it’s in the hands of the police now and we’ll support him.”