Former CF Montreal coach Thierry Henry says he is quitting social media until the platforms are properly regulated.
The 43-year-old former star striker, who left the MLS team in late February citing family reasons, said he will remove himself from social media as of Saturday “until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.”
“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore,” he added. “There HAS to be some accountability. It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous.
“Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social media platforms. I’m hoping this happens soon.”
Henry has 2.7 million followers on Instagram and 2.3 million on Twitter.
The former Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls and French star is the second celebrity to abandon social media this week. Chrissy Teigen, a model and TV personality with more than 13 million followers on Twitter, said she was deleting her account saying it “no longer serves me as positively as it serves me negatively.”
Teigen maintained her Instagram account, which has 34.4 million followers.
Henry stepped down as Montreal coach on Feb. 25, citing the separation from his family in London during the pandemic.
Henry, who is Black, has been outspoken about the need for reforms to address systemic racism.
He showed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement at the MLS is Back Tournament in July. Wearing a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt, he took a knee on the sideline for the first eight minutes 46 seconds of Montreal’s game against the New England Revolution.
The span of 8:46 is how long Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd before he died last May. Chauvin has since been fired and his criminal trial starts Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2021.