Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt has revealed that the racist abuse he suffered on social media last month came as the result of a lost bet.
Van Aanholt was targeted on Instagram following Palace’s 0-0 draw at home to Manchester United in the Premier League on March 3, in which he had a late chance to win the game but was denied by opposition goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
The 30-year-old highlighted the abuse he received on his Instagram story, adding the caption ‘why we kneel’. Instagram said it removed the offending account and took steps to prevent the user from returning to the platform.
Talking about the abuse he received in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, Van Aanholt explained: “It was just after the United game and I missed that chance.
“Somebody posted a bet on us to win the game and me to score – unfortunately, I didn’t score and he lost his bet. He abused me on social media.
“I was at home after the game, chilling with my family and I saw the message. I responded to portions on my story, just to show people it’s still there.
“It didn’t affect me the way he wanted me to be affected, but it’s not nice to call people those kinds of words. I think we need to call them out and that’s what I did.”
Van Aanholt is one of many players in English football to have been racially abused online
“I don’t know what to say – why are we talking about racism in 2021?” added Van Aanholt. “It’s just ridiculous – it’s crazy.
“But it’s not just in the Premier League, it’s everywhere – it’s in La Liga, in France. It needs to stop. Everybody should call them out.”
Van Aanholt has enjoyed happier times on the field this season, during which he has been Palace’s first-choice left-back as Roy Hodgson’s side once again close in on securing their Premier League status.
The south London side could be in for a busy summer though, with Hodgson and many of his squad – including Van Aanholt – seeing their contracts expire at the end of the season.
The Netherlands international has been linked with a move to Arsenal and, while he insists he is “happy” at Selhurst Park, he was non-committal on his Palace future.
“I’m not in a rush to make any decisions,” Van Aanholt said. “I’m focused on Palace and focused on finishing the season very well.
“After that, hopefully I’m going to the Euros with Holland, and then I’ll make a decision what’s going to happen.
“Everybody knows I’m happy at Palace. I’m here to play football. There are eight games left and I’m going to do my best every game. After those eight games are finished we’ll see what happens.”