Crystal Palace 0-0 Man United: Patrick van Aanholt racially abused post-match

Patrick van Aanholt

Patrick van Aanholt has revealed the racist abuse he received in light of Crystal Palace's 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Wednesday evening. 

The clash at Selhurst Park was a tepid and forgettable clash between two sides who are struggling for rhythm in the Premier League.

It was a game of few chances but Van Aanholt was presented with an opportunity late on having been found by Luka Milivojevic's perfectly weighted through ball. 

Dean Henderson jumped off his line to narrow the angle and block the flying left-back's effort, and in truth it would have taken a sublime finish under under the circumstances.

Unfortunately, Van Aanholt was subjected to abhorrent racist abuse on social media in the aftermath of proceedings. 

Indeed, the Netherlands international has taken to Twitter to share a screenshot of a direct message he received on Instagram in light of his performance. 

The user in question directed a wave of racist abuse at Van Aanholt and suggested the player should "break his neck". 

In light of Wilfried Zaha's decision to stop kneeling before kick-off, Van Aanholt rather pertinently captioned his tweet "why we kneel."

The Black Lives Matter movement reignited during 2020 and shifted the way society thinks about and acknowledges racial inequality. 

On the football field, the vast majority of players have been taking the knee before every Premier League fixture, though the ritual's effectiveness has been called into question. 

Back in February, Championship side Brentford confirmed that they will no longer take the knee and club talisman Ivan Toney explained the decision while speaking to Sky Sports (via Brentfordfc.com).

"Everyone has had their say, and everyone agrees [that] we have been taking the knee for however long now and still nothing has changed. We are kind of being used as puppets, in my eyes; take the knee and the people at the top can rest for a while now, which is pretty silly and pretty pointless. Nothing is changing."

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It's clear from Van Aanholt's tweet on Thursday, though, that this is an incredibly divisive issue. 

The abuse he received after Palace's draw with United is just a microcosm of a much larger problem in society. 

The rate at which stories of this nature are emerging speaks to the enormity of the challenges so many individuals, including footballers, are facing on a daily basis.

Debates about the impact kneeling is having will continue to rumble on, but Van Aanholt's latest tweet shows that the social media giants need to take decisive action to end this insidious trend of abuse. 

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