Brentford striker Ivan Toney said he was left hurt and angry after claiming his parents were racially abused at Sunday’s Premier League win at Everton.
Merseyside Police are investigating after Toney and team-mate Rico Henry both alleged on social media that family members had been abused at Goodison Park after Brentford’s 3-2 win.
Toney told Sky Sports: “They’re fine, my mum and my family stayed strong for me because they knew how I’d react to it, but you don’t expect that in this day and age at a football match.
INVESTIGATION | We've launched an investigation into reports the families of two @BrentfordFC players were racially abused & are working with @Everton to identify those responsible. There's absolutely no place for hate anywhere in Merseyside.
— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) May 15, 2022
“To anybody, let alone your parents who are coming to support you. Mine and Rico’s parents.
“Obviously there’s a lot of anger. Off the back of winning, you’re just thinking about the three points and hearing that straight away, you just switch to anger and being upset.”
Henry, who scored Brentford’s winner, and Toney both expressed their anger when revealing the abuse on Twitter after the match.
Everton responded to Toney’s post with a tweet, which read: “There is no place in football – or society – for racism. We are assisting Merseyside Police to ensure the individual is identified and dealt with appropriately.”
And for the man that racially abused my family Il do everything I can to get you the punishment you deserve! 👍🏾
— Ivan Toney (@ivantoney24) May 15, 2022
Merseyside Police confirmed late on Sunday night an investigation had been opened.
Detective Inspector Catherine Cox said: “We will support the victims in this case and work with Everton Football Club to find those responsible and bring them to justice. Their views and their abuse is not welcome here in Merseyside, and they do not represent the overwhelming majority of football fans.
“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage any football fans with information on racial abuse to speak with officers or stewards at the ground, or call 101 so we can identify and locate offenders, and ensure they face the consequences of their actions.”
Toney said Everton’s defeat, which left them two points above the relegation zone with two games to play, was no excuse for the perpetrators.
I never usually speak out on things that don’t physically harm me or my family but to see my mom upset after being racially abused by a few Everton fans brought fire to my stomach!
— Rico Henry (@ricohenry14) May 15, 2022
He added on Sky Sports: “It’s sad that we still have this, that we’re having to talk about racism after my family just went to a game like any normal people, having a normal day.
“Listen, the emotions sometimes get the better of people, but that should not be a reason for racism.
“You can be angry at certain things and results, but never should you discriminate against them because of the colour of their skin.”