Thursday, June 20

Abramovich to increase fund to fight racist abuse

Roman Abramovich has written to his players pledging to raise support for campaigns to root out prejudice following a spate of online harassment incidents over the past week.

Reece James exchanged vile messages he had been sent. While Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe trio were all targeted by racial violence, along with Romaine Sawyers of West Brom. Abramovich, including James, is understood to have written to every member of the Chelsea men’s squad. Message contains express how “appalled” he was by the violence and his renewed determination to tackle it.

“I am appalled by the racist abuse targeted at Reece on social media,” the Russian said. “Racism has no place in our club nor in our society. Our club is committed to fighting racism, antisemitism and all forms of discrimination. “We cannot allow this to continue unchecked. I have therefore directed the board to further increase the club’s efforts in this area and I will personally direct more funds towards this important work.”

Rashford’s harassment sparked a Greater Manchester police inquiry. And puts further pressure on social media sites as the UK government prepares to enact new online abuse legislation in 2021. “The Duke of Cambridge has labeled “despicable” the racist abuse directed at footballers and said it “must stop now.

He tweeted: “Racist abuse – whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media – is despicable and it must stop now. “I commend all those players, supporters, clubs and organisations who continue to call out and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms.”

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