Chelsea defender Reece James has highlighted racial abuse he received on social media, insisting “something needs to change”.
Reece’s Instagram story highlighting one user’s abusive messages privately sent to him comes just days after Manchester United pair Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial, and West Brom midfielder Romaine Sawyers were all racially abused online.
James posted a screenshot of a thread of racist messages sent to him by a user with the player’s own caption saying: “Something needs to change!”.
Anti-racism group Kick It Out has condemned the recent abuse towards Tuanzebe, Martial and Sawyers, and says it will continue to work with social media companies and the relevant authorities to hold those responsible to account.
Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari has said: “We are disappointed that players are continuing to be subject to racist abuse on their social platforms, it is completely unacceptable.
“We will continue to work with the football authorities, law enforcement and social media companies to try and rid football of hateful and discriminatory behaviour.”
Premier League will support victims of racist abuse
In a statement released on Friday, before James revealed the abuse he has received, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters condemned the racist abuse sent to Sawyers, Tuanzebe and Martial.
“I am appalled to see the racial abuse received by players this week,” Masters said. “Racist behaviour of any form is unacceptable and nobody should have to deal with it. Tackling online hate is a priority for football, and I believe social media companies need to do more.
“We at the Premier League will continue to support players, managers and their families who receive discriminatory online abuse. Through our central reporting system we have been able to take immediate action on cases like this and we investigate every report received, with legal action taken where possible.
“We are in regular dialogue with social media companies, challenging them to do more against discriminatory abuse on their platforms. We want to see swifter removal of offensive messages and improved identification and banning of offenders.”
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Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.