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Football Reporting


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

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 featuring several racist messages sent to him with the caption “something needs to change!” written over the messages.

After James revealed the abuse, Chelsea released a statement condemning the messages the 21-year-old received while echoing his call that “something needs to change.”

“Everyone at Chelsea FC is disgusted with the racist abuse Reece James received on social media on Friday evening. This club finds racism and all forms of discriminatory behaviour completely unacceptable. We totally condemn it,” the club said.

“In sport, as in wider society, we must create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they would be on the street.

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“We add our voice to those urging social media platforms and regulatory authorities to take stronger, more effective and more urgent action against this despicable behaviour.

“Something needs to change and it needs to change now.”

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.

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“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.”

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