"We speak about racism, but it doesn't have an impact"
England and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford is at a loss in the battle to stop racist abuse, convinced "nothing changes" regardless of how many players speak out.
Rashford is one of several high-profile players across Europe to be subjected to abuse over the last month, with the forward targeted on social media after missing a penalty against Crystal Palace.
United team-mate Paul Pogba was the victim of similar abuse after he also failed to convert a spot-kick five days earlier, while monkey chants could be heard when Romelu Lukaku – who left Old Trafford for Inter in pre-season – scored from the spot against Cagliari on Sunday.
Rashford recognised the importance to speak out about such matters, but the 21-year-old feels helpless, convinced people will continue to be disrespectful as long as they are protected by anonymity and urged those in power do more to clamp down on offenders.
"It is disappointing. It seems to me that things are going backwards rather than forwards," Rashford told reporters on Friday ahead of England's match against Bulgaria.
"All around the world people are standing together and that is all we can do. We have to rely on the campaigns to deal with this. Our voice only has so much power. Social media is a big problem. For me, it is too easy to do what you like on the internet. Anyone can go on and write what we want. It is easy to figure it out. There are hundreds of thousands who use my profile and they can write what they want [in reply to tweets]. There are a lot of things that need to change."
"I've never been a big fan of social media. I try and stay away from it, but it's important for me to say my part. There's been other people too, Romelu, Jadon [Sancho] did a good speech the other day. I have always said, the more we speak about it, it doesn't have an impact. There are examples where people have spoken out and nothing has really changed."
"To see it spike in the last couple of months is unbelievable. We want to nip it in the bud."
It was mentioned to Rashford that Twitter plans to monitor the accounts of 50 leading black players in an attempt to tackle racism, but the United youth product is adamant it will make no difference.
"That doesn't change anything," he continued. "What I said before, the number of accounts out there is ridiculous.The way to control it is for everyone in the world who use these platforms only have one account. They use dummy accounts, so their identity is never seen."