Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was targeted with racist abuse on social media after the sacking of Frank Lampard; Chelsea say they are investigating and will pass on any relevant information to police; Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe was racially abused again on Saturday evening
Sunday 7 February 2021 13:31, UK
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has revealed he suffered "immense" racist abuse on social media following the sacking of Frank Lampard.
Reports claimed that Rudiger had encouraged the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge to replace Lampard but the Germany international has dismissed those suggestions as "nonsense".
Chelsea say they support Rudiger on this matter and are investigating his allegations, and will pass on any relevant information to the police.
"I have been in the club into my fourth season and I have had four different coaches, with (Thomas) Tuchel now, and it was never talked about when (Maurizio) Sarri left the club or when (Antonio) Conte left the club that players were involved or something like this," Rudiger told Chelsea's website.
"My conscience is clear. I know who I am and I know I did not do all that nonsense that came out and for me in my head, I am very free. I am open for every new coach, as I was open also for Mr Lampard.
"I cannot control people's emotions but people should be human beings. Me, I didn't post anything but the racial abuse was immense. This makes me stronger because I know who I am, I can look in the mirror and I can smile. I know I didn't do anything so for me this is forgotten.
"For me in life it is very important I can look in the mirror, I see myself, I know who I am. Of course, it hurts but in this case I just block it out because I know I didn't do anything."
Rudiger has also suggested social media companies are not doing enough to close down abusive social media accounts and believes they "don't really care" about tackling the issue.
"To be very honest I don't know about all these social media things but I think people who make accounts, they make money off it," he added.
"So me personally, I think they don't really care because as you know, this money has power so the rest doesn't matter, so it is hard to tell if people will make a change on that."
Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe was subjected to racist abuse again on social media following Saturday's draw with Everton.
Tuanzebe was targeted with racist comments on Instagram after Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a late equaliser for Everton in a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford.
It is the second time in recent weeks that Tuanzebe has been subjected to racist abuse online.
Tuanzebe and United team-mate Anthony Martial were also targeted last month after the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United.
A Facebook company spokesperson told Sky Sports News: "There is no place for hate speech on Instagram and we have taken action to remove accounts and comments following the abuse received by Axel Tuanzebe this weekend.
"We are always working on new ways to tackle racism on Instagram and will have more to share soon."
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