Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha racially abused; 12-year-old arrested

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during their English Premier League soccer match against Brighton & Hove Albion. (Nigel French/PA via AP)

BIRMINGHAM, England — A 12-year-old boy was arrested by police after Crystal Palace player Wilfried Zaha highlighted racist abuse he received ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match at Aston Villa.

Zaha posted the screenshots on Twitter with the message: "Woke up to this today."

The racist messages and imagery referencing Zaha being Black were sent on Instagram from a user who referenced Villa in his name.

"We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy," West Midlands Police said on Twitter. "The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken to custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated."

Before kickoff at Villa Park, Zaha — like all players in recent weeks — took a knee as part of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

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