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Reece James: Chelsea defender latest to highlight racial abuse received on social media

Chelsea defender Reece James highlights racial abuse he received on social media; Manchester United duo Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial, as well as West Brom's Romaine Sawyers, also abused online this week

Reece James highlighted racist abuse he has privately received on social media
Image: Reece James highlighted racist abuse he has privately received on social media

Chelsea defender Reece James has highlighted racial abuse he received on social media, insisting "something needs to change" and says Instagram, Twitter and Facebook "must do more".

James'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!"

The England international later tweeted "no room for racism" and the following day, posted on Twitter: "We all have a part to play in making this world a better and more equal place.

"Racism is completely unacceptable. Human is our only race. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook you must do more."

A number of James' Chelsea team-mates have offered their support, including Cesar Azpilicueta, who tweeted "we're with you Reece" and also challenged Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to "do more", and Thiago Silva, who posted "I'm with you bro".

The FA has vowed to work with the Government and social media platforms to eradicate racism from the game and said in a statement: "We are united with all of football in our abhorrence of any racist abuse. This is not acceptable in any part of society.

"We will continue to work with the rest of the game, the government and social media platforms to remove this - and all elements of - discrimination from our sport."

A Chelsea statement on Friday night read: "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.

"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.

"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."

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Former Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar says social media companies should get the police involved and make examples of those posting racial abuse

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.

Sky Sports News has approached Facebook for comment.

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We're All In To Kick It Out

Kick It Out and Sky have launched a partnership to end racism in sport

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.

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