Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor made quite a name for himself among Leeds United fans for his continual jibes at the Yorkshire club.
However, Gabby’s days on Twitter are now over, with the 34-year-old confirming to talkSPORT that he’s deleted his account due to the abuse he received on the under-fire social media platform.
As shown in a clip on talkSPORT’s Twitter account on Monday, Agbonlahor said: “You’ve seen it happen again today and you’ve seen it so much and how easy it is and the lack of punishment. I’m just sitting here thinking players, sports stars, people, in general, should boycott the app. Maybe that’s what needs to happen.
“I’m just sitting here thinking, ‘delete the app, delete it off my phone, it’s gone’, because there needs to be something bigger that’s done.
“We’ve seen there’s not enough punishment so there’s something we, as individuals, can do to make a change.”
He added: “People will say, ‘you’re going to let them win, blah blah blah’. But I just see it as if these social media companies aren’t going to do anything, they’re not going to change the settings or change the rules, then why not boycott the app?
“Why not? Because I’m telling you now, they’re not going to be bothered about me not being on there but if the big Premier League stars come off Twitter, they will change their settings.”
“Sports stars & people in general need to boycott the app.”
“Something bigger must be done as there’s not enough punishment.”
“If big stars came off Twitter they would change their settings.”
Gabby Agbonlahor says he deleted his Twitter account due to abuse he got. pic.twitter.com/VykCvwoi0Y
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) February 8, 2021
Time for change
We don’t know what kind of abuse that Agbonlahor has received on Twitter but it’s no secret that he’s had a long-standing dispute with Leeds United fans over Bielsa and the Whites’ style of play.
When you call a team’s manager a “myth” and then resort to using fishing rod emojis, it’s pretty clear that you’re writing controversial tweets and posting them simply to provoke a reaction.
Football fans can be extremely touchy, Gabby knows that.
He seemed to be fine with a lot of the banter and that’s why he carried on criticising Leeds and mocking them whenever something didn’t go their way but it does sound as though a line has been crossed at some point.
There has been a lot said in the news in the last week or so about abuse that is being aimed at footballers.
Reece James, Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Romaine Sawyers have all been targetted by racists on social media and the PFA has hit out at the likes of Facebook and Twitter for failing to protect their users.
Maybe something as drastic as a boycott is what is needed to get social media giants to clamp down on racism and abuse.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that.
Rashford is someone who’s received racist abuse on social media but in recent months, his activity on Twitter has been sensational in raising money for those who need help to feed their families in these unprecedented times.
If Rashford didn’t have Twitter, would there have been as much done for the children of under-priveledged families? We don’t think so.
For Agbonlahor, removing himself from the platform is the best approach but it’s not the best approach for everyone.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has detailed the potential starting line-up for Leeds on Monday.