Aston Merrygold has said he was “overcome with rage” after his two-year-old son was the subject of racist comments online
The JLS singer said he was horrified by abuse directed at Grayson on Instagram and has reported it to the police..
He told ITV’s Loose Women: “Like any other day, we just enjoy posting about family life, especially during the pandemic, we’ve been stuck in the house, trying to make the best of a bad situation, posting pictures, having fun.
“I was sitting down one evening and went to my son’s account that me and my missus monitor and this comment was literally there, point blank in my face.”
Merrygold and his fiancee Sarah Richards are also parents to son Macaulay Shay, born in June, and set up an account they run for their children so friends, family and fans could follow their development.
He added that growing up as a black man, he has never “hidden” or been “ashamed” and he will tell his son about the comments when he is older.
He said: “From when they grow up, they’re going to know this story and are always going to be able to hold their own.
“For me now, in this situation, an account we used to celebrate our son has been abused. I run the account and so does my missus, so whoever it is has got my attention… it’s like, ‘You can’t go around and think you can get away with it’.”
Asked if he will do anything differently in future, he replied: “No, not at all. I’ve always been taught by my parents, by my relatives, ‘You have to tackle this thing head on. No one has any right to be able to have hatred towards you, let alone racial hatred’.
“We’re going to tackle this to the fullest. For me, it’s contacting the police, contacting Instagram, letting them know.
“A lot of people said to me, ‘You should stay positive, ignore it’. The more we ignore it, the more people get away with it… more people need to report it.
“I’ve had thick skin since I was very young, experiencing racism, but as a parent, I was never prepared to see that. The rage took over. I was like, ‘I need to get in my car and I need to find this person’. That was my first thought.
“I was overcome with rage. I was speaking to my partner, she had to calm me down. I said, ‘Right, OK, we need to tackle this the right way. We need to do it publicly and make sure people can’t get away with this’.
“Speaking to the police and social platforms, you need to keep reporting it.
“Blocking people and deleting messages (is not enough), you need to keep reporting it. Talk about it. Keep it vocal. Everybody needs to be aware that this stuff goes on all the time. The more it’s reported the more power authorities will have.”
Loose Women is on weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.