A man has been arrested after a racist message was sent to West Brom midfielder Romaine Sawyers (pictured). West Brom said the “abhorrent message” was sent to Sawyers on social media during their 5-0 defeat by Manchester City.
A 49-year-old man from Dudley has been arrested on suspicion of racially abusing the player, West Midlands Police confirmed. They are also investigating another report of a racist comment towards Sawyers.
West Brom said they will “offer Romaine the relevant support required at this time and continues with its long-standing commitment to help rid football of racism”.
Baggies boss Sam Allardyce also said Sawyers was “extremely upset, as anybody would be”.
Sawyers, 29, played for West Brom between 2009 and 2013. The Saint Kitts & Nevis international rejoined the club from Brentford in 2019.
The government plans to introduce new laws on online abuse this year and, as I’ve said before, these laws can’t come soon enough. There have to be real consequences for abhorrent, abusive behaviour on social media.
Chelsea, meanwhile, say they are “disgusted” after their English right-back Reece James was also racially abused on social media. That’s several high-profile racist incidents like this in a matter of days.
A spokesperson for Facebook (Instagram’s owner) said: “There is no place for racism on Instagram and we are committed to removing it when we find it. We know there is more to do and we will continue to work closely with clubs, players and football authorities to investigate instances of discrimination and collectively tackle this issue.”
Twitter also released a statement, saying: “Racist behaviour has no place on our service and when we identify accounts that violate any of the Twitter Rules, we take enforcement action.
“We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our valued partners in football to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline.”
Fine words, you might say, but these platforms need to do much more.