HIBS captain Ian Murray has been targeted for sectarian abuse by a Twitter troll.
A Tweeter going by the name “Ritchie Callaghan” called Murray a ‘fenian b*****’ and then deleted the account shortly afterwards.
The offensive message has not been reported to police, but Hibs supporters and anti-sectarian campaigners hit out today at the “digusting” comments.
A spokesman for Hibs said today (tue) the club “cannot condone any unacceptable behaviour” and had worked closely with the police and the Scottish Government on anti-bigotry laws.
The bigoted tweet posted last week read: “You are just a fenian b******!”
Referring to the Hearts midfielder, it added: “Hope Ian Black kills you you dirty wee fenian rat! Hope you and your family all die.”
But cool-headed Murray, 31, refused to retaliate.
He tweeted his followers: ”Warning to all – sectarianism is an offence even on Twitter. Be careful what you say. That last guy is in a spot of bother. Feel for him.”
New laws against football-related sectarianism came into effect earlier this year.
Supporters feared the abuse would drive Murray off the social networking site.
Mark Riley, chairman of the Hibs Supporters’ Club, said: “It is disgusting for something like this to happen to Ian. He has been a tremendous player for the club and for him to get a message like that is absolutely sickening.
“I hope someone does make a complaint to police about this because they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.
“We were at a meeting with police before the new laws came into place on March 1, and they said they were going to be very strict about enforcing them.
“There have been other players who were on Twitter who came off because of the abuse they were getting.
“If this happens again then Ian might do the same thing. He’s a gentleman and doesn’t deserve this kind of shameful behaviour.”
Dave Scott of anti-sectarianism campaign Nil By Mouth said: “Far too many people are choosing to use social media sites to bring hatred into the 21st century.
“These individuals seem to feel the law cannot touch them in cyberspace, but that’s not the case.”
Murray has previously used his Titter account to make a jibe at hearts player Ian Black, after Black revealed a shirt reading ‘I’ll paint this place maroon’ during a match.
Murray hit back saying: “Believe me the tide will turn. That’s a certain.”