Turkish citizens flocked to social media late Monday leading to the hashtag “#WeStandWithObi” trending across Twitter in support of Trabzonspor’s Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel against racial slurs the latter incurred after Sunday’s match with arch-rival Fenerbahçe.
The club released a statement later in the day condemning racist attacks against the midfielder.
The Turkish club said in a statement:
“Racism is a refuge for helpless and ignorant people. Our football player, Obi Mikel, condemns the racist attacks after the Fenerbahce match.
“We present to the public that we have filed a criminal complaint against the attackers.”
Mikel’s team-mate Joao Pereira also said on Twitter:
“It is sad and unacceptable that in 2020 we’re still facing acts of racism and disrespect like this. Football is much bigger than the little people behind these unfortunate acts.”
Trabzonspor went into third place in the Super Lig with their home victory on Saturday.
Mikel, who made the switch to Turkey from Middlesbrough in June 2019, has 22 made appearances in all competitions for head coach Huseyin Cimsir’s side so far this term.