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Mason Greenwood Accused of Rape and Sexual Assault: What We Know

The Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood was arrested on Sunday evening by the Greater Manchester Police.

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Football
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On Sunday night, 30 January, Manchester United and England forward Mason Greenwood was arrested by the Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of rape and assault. The allegations against Greenwood were posted on social media earlier in the day by Harriet Robson, who is believed to be his ex-girlfriend.

There was no public response from Greenwood for several hours after the allegations were first posted.

There have been strong reactions against the footballer, with many offering their support to the survivor.

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What Are the Allegations?

Harriet Robson took to social media on Sunday and posted videos and photos of her injuries with the caption, "To everyone who wants to know what Mason Greenwood actually does to me."

She also posted audio clips, in which Greenwood was purportedly heard being abusive and attempting to force himself on her.

The images, videos, and audio recordings alleging rape and sexual assault by Greenwood, however, are no longer available on her social media account.

The allegations were not received well by Man United fans, with some demanding that the club terminate his contract immediately.

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Greenwood Arrested

By Sunday evening, Greenwood was arrested by the Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of rape and assault following the allegations. He remains in custody for interrogation.

The police said that "social media images and videos posted by a woman reporting incidents of physical violence" were brought to their notice.

A Greater Manchester Police statement said: "Greater Manchester Police were made aware earlier today (Sunday 30 January) of online social media images and videos posted by a woman reporting incidents of physical violence. An investigation was launched and following enquiries, we can confirm a man in his 20s has since been arrested on suspicion of rape and assault. He remains in custody for questioning. Enquiries are ongoing."

The police did not name Greenwood, but the statement about the investigation was reportedly provided after enquiries about the footballer.

This is also not the first time that Greenwood's behaviour has been a cause of concern and has come under the scanner. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenwood and his teammate Phil Foden, who were travelling with the England team in Iceland, were caught breaking quarantine rules. The duo had met women at a public part of the hotel where the team stayed and were dropped by England after that. It was Greenwood's first call-up to the national team.

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Manchester United's Statement

Once the allegations against Greenwood surfaced and took social media by storm, most fans demanded that his contract be terminated by Man United. While the club is yet to act along those lines, it said on Sunday morning that it would launch an investigation.

"We are aware of images and allegations circulating on social media. We will not make any further comment until the facts have been established. Manchester United does not condone violence of any kind," the club said in a statement.

Later in the evening, Man United announced that Greenwood was suspended.

A statement issued by the club read: "Mason Greenwood will not return to training or play matches until further notice."

On Monday, reports suggested that the club would not be providing Greenwood with any legal counsel.

The 20-year-old footballer, who made his debut for the club in March 2019, signed a four-year deal in February 2021 after rising through the ranks of the United academy.

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'Recognise Domestic Abuse as a Serious Crime'

Meanwhile, Women's Aid has reacted to the allegations. Farah Nazeer, chief executive of the Women's Aid, was quoted as saying by DailyMail: "We at Women's Aid share the shock and distress of everyone who has heard the recording and seen the visuals of Mason Greenwood’s alleged abuse.

"It is vital that all employers, as well as authorities, recognise domestic abuse as the serious crime it is. Manchester United, the Football Association and police must take action accordingly.

"This is likely to be a high-profile case, and we and the world are watching – men, women, boys, and girls who look up to athletes as heroes need to know that there is never an excuse for abuse, no matter who you are."

Refuge told Sportsmail that this becomes even more of a challenge when the accused is well-known or famous.

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO, said: "The audio and transcript released will have been triggering for many women."

"The fact that a woman has felt that she had to record what appears to be sexual abuse shows the level of evidence women are expected to obtain in order to be believed. This is amplified when the accused is famous or has significant wealth and status. Abusive men use the threat of women not being believed to try and silence them. 'No one will believe you' is a threat used to control and intimidate. Speaking up about abuse can be incredibly difficult for survivors. Especially when the accused has significant status. Speaking up takes courage and resilience," Refuge said.

Sportswear giants Nike, who sponsor Greenwood, released a statement to The Athletic, which read: "We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation."

A day after, on Monday, Nike said in a statement, "We have suspended our relationship with Mason Greenwood. We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation."

(With inputs from DailyMail, Sportsmail, The Athletic.)

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Topics:  Mason Greenwood 

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