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US tennis player Sloane Stephens says racist social media abuse ‘has only gotten worse’

(CNN) — US tennis player Sloane Stephens, 2017 US Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up, says racist abuse of her on social media has been a problem throughout her tennis career .

“Nunca ha cesado. En todo caso, solo ha empeorado”, dijo Stephens, que es negra, a periodistas después de ganar 6-0 6-4 en la primera ronda del Abierto de Francia contra la cabeza de serie número 16 Karolina Pliskova este Monday.

Roland Garros announced last week that players’ social media content will be moderated by an online anti-harassment and hate speech tool.

“I heard about the program. I haven’t used it,” the 30-year-old American said.

“I have a bunch of obviously banned keywords on Instagram and all that, but that doesn’t stop someone from just typing in an asterisk or typing it in some other way, which the software obviously doesn’t detect most of the time.”

Sloane Stephens defeats Karolina Pliskova in the first round of Roland-Garros 2023. (Credit: Jean-François Badias/AP)

A Stephens preguntó por la gravedad de los abusos, a lo que respondió: “Obviamente, cuando el FBI investiga lo que la gente te dice en Internet, es muy grave. Obviamente, es algo con lo que he tenido que lidiar Durante toda my career”.

“I think, as I said, it’s only gotten worse and people are free to say and do what they want behind fake pages, which is obviously very problematic.

“But, yeah, it’s something I’ve had to deal with for my whole career and something I’m sure I’ll continue to deal with. That’s it.”

Stephens, currently ranked 30th in the world, did not elaborate on the abuse he suffered when speaking to reporters on Monday.