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Soccer players demand change for rampant online racist abuse, turn to AI for protection

FILE - France's Kylian Mbappe holds the Golden Boot award for top goal scorer of the tournament during the awards ceremony after Argentina defeated France in the World Cup final soccer match at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Kylian Mbappe, who has 104 million followers on Instagram and more than 12 million followers on Twitter, was subjected to racial abuse along with fellow Black teammate Kingsley Coman after their French national team lost in the 2022 World Cup final to Argentina. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File) The Associated Press

LONDON -- Missing penalties in a major international soccer final was bad enough for three Black players on England’s national team. Being subjected to a torrent of racial abuse on social media in the aftermath made it even worse.

Monkey emojis. Being told to go home. The N-word.

The even sadder part? Everyone knew it was coming.

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