October 17, 2021

‘Something needs to change!’ – Chelsea star James reveals racist social media abuse

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Chelsea right-back Reece James has revealed he has been the target of racist abuse on social media. 

The England international posted a screenshot on his Instagram account with several racist messages sent to him with the caption “something needs to change!” written over the messages.

James’ post came in the same week that Manchester United pair Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were also racially abused following the Red Devils’ 2-1 loss to Sheffield United on Wednesday.

After the game, United released a statement condemning the discrimination while also calling for social media companies to better police their platforms.

“Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game,” a statement read. “We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also.

“Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our All Red All Equal initiative. Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic.

“We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour.”

Anti-racism group Kick It Out also condemned the abuse in a statement.

Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari 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.

“As we have said before, online hate must have real-life consequences, so people don’t continue to spread hate as freely as they wish. The individuals responsible for this abuse will hopefully be identified by the social media platforms and swiftly removed.

“We know that discriminatory abuse can have a significant real-world impact on the welfare of the victims. We encourage the players to get such support from their club in the first instance, and support is also available from the PFA and Kick It Out.”