Brighton & Hove Albion have confirmed that a man has been found guilty of serious online abuse towards Neal Maupay. The man, who is based in Singapore, has been convicted of crimes relating to harassment following an investigation that began in August.
Troll Found Guilty of Online Abuse Towards Neal Maupay
Premier League Set Up An Online Abuse Reporting System Last Year
In June 2020, the Premier League set up an online abuse reporting system. Players, managers and families of those individuals that had been affected could report when there has been discriminatory abuse on social media.
Now, Brighton striker Neal Maupay had been trolled on Instagram and a complaint was filed last August. The messages were reported to the Premier League, whose legal team investigated the account.
Successfully, the Premier League were able to identify and locate the user, before working with Maupay, Brighton and authorities in Singapore to persuade legal action against the offender.
The man, named Derek Ng De Ren, was convicted of crimes relating to harassment and will be sentenced on July 7.
What Was Said
Speaking to the club’s official website, chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said: “We welcome the verdict and thank the Premier League and their legal team for their support to both the club and Neal, as well as the authorities in Singapore for recognising the severity of the offence.
“This demonstrates that even where posts are anonymous, we will use all available legal resources to identify perpetrators, and we remind everyone that our club and the Premier League have a zero-tolerance policy to anyone who abuses our players, staff or other supporters.
“The message is clear. Abuse, trolling and online hate of any nature won’t be tolerated; social media needs to be a safe and secure platform for all to enjoy. On our own channels, users will be banned, reported to the platform owners and reported to the police where they have broken the law. We fully expect other social media platforms to follow the same zero-tolerance policy.
“We simply will not stand for this abuse. The social media giants must do more, but until they do, we are prepared to play our part by working with the Premier League and other authorities to identify and root out these individuals.”
Neal Maupay added: “I would like to thank the club and Premier League for the support they showed me in this matter, and the professionalism in dealing with it, as well as the police and courts in Singapore.
“The vile and toxic abuse of which I was on the receiving end is a daily occurrence for many professional athletes and public figures and I hope this goes some way to showing those online trolls that it is totally unacceptable and that the authorities are prepared to take the necessary action.”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The online abuse Neal received was appalling and nobody should have to deal with such threatening messages.
“We are committed to supporting players, managers and their families and will continue to work with relevant authorities to fight online hate. As this case shows, we take each report seriously and will do everything we can to identify and investigate offenders and pursue legal action, wherever in the world they may be.
“This outcome recognises the severity of the offence, and we hope it will send a strong message of deterrence by demonstrating there are serious real-life consequences for those who engage in online abuse.”