London, September 14: Players subjected to racist abuse are powerless and football must do more to protect them, according to former England striker Emile Heskey.
The start of the 2019-20 season has been marred by incidents involving black players, with Romelu Lukaku targeted during a Serie A game and Tammy Abraham, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford all subjected to abuse on social media after missing penalties.
Lukaku called on football authorities and players to "unify" in the fight against racism after monkey chants could be heard during Inter's win away at Cagliari prior to the international break.
Heskey, who played for Premier League clubs including Leicester City and Liverpool, suggested it will be tough to stop people abusing players online - and insisted points deductions are not the solution.
My ancestors and my parents suffered for my generation to be free today, to work, to take the bus, to play football. Racist insults are ignorance and can only make me stronger and motivate me to fight for the next generation. pic.twitter.com/J9IqyWQj4K— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) August 25, 2019
"They're all conducting themselves well . But there is nothing they can do," Heskey told Omnisport.
"They're calling for people to help, as in authorities, to do something to stop it.
"Because it's not fair, it's not right. You've got lads who are having their family members in the stadium, and they're being abused. It's not right.
"For what? For what reason? Because you're black or because you're different to someone else?
"No. So there's something that's got to happen but we haven't really sussed out what we need to do.
"They would have to implement a lot of things. You have to know who actually owns this account or that account, so you'd need I.D.
"Honestly, I'm not too sure where they're going to go with it but they need to do something because it's just too easy to go and attack someone now. You can't start deducting points."