Tottenham midfielder says focus on mental health needed in pandemic

Posted: 3rd August 2021

The coronavirus pandemic should trigger more discussion about mental health, Tottenham midfielder Lucas Moura says.

Brazilian Moura has been stuck in England, more than 5,000 miles away from his home and family, during the worst of the pandemic.

He feels mental health is a subject that needs to be discussed more widely and sympathetically.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Moura said: “The pandemic was tough for everyone.

“Everyone has learned something from this situation. Now we need to change our minds about life and health and do the best we can to help people to stay safe.”

Moura was speaking before the Mind Series of pre-season games involving Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal that runs for a week from 1 August.

The series is intended to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity, and the respective clubs’ foundations.

‘We need to stop social media abuse’

Moura knows mental health issues can arise from the pressure on elite sportspeople at major events – and also the abuse that can be directed at them on social media.

England trio Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were all targeted after they were unsuccessful with penalties as England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy in a shootout on 11 July.

Moura feels everyone needs to work harder to stamp out social media abuse but thinks the platforms themselves have a major role to play.

“It is 2021 and we are still seeing bad things like this,” he said. “It is not good.

“We need to stop it. We need to teach our kids to do good things. It is difficult. Fans can interact with players on social media. But some fans do bad things. You just hope the organisations do something about it.”

Both Facebook, which owns Instagram, and Twitter put out statements after the Euro 2020 final saying that they had removed abusive posts directed at Rashford, Sancho and Saka.

Twitter said it had also suspended a number of accounts for violating its rules, while Facebook said it had recently announced tougher measures on its Instagram platform, including permanently deleting accounts that repeatedly send abusive direct messages.

In April, Instagram announced a tool to enable users to automatically filter out abusive messages from those they do not follow.

Source: Lucas Moura: Tottenham midfielder says focus on mental health needed in pandemic – BBC Sport – July 2021


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