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Yannick Bolasie: Man, 22, appears in court in Scotland over online racist abuse of Middlesbrough winger

Yannick Bolasie highlighted racial abuse he received on Instagram earlier this month; Middlesbrough winger said: "Something seriously wrong with people, still yet to meet a person who had this energy when they saw me"

Yannick Bolasie (Getty)
Image: Yannick Bolasie is on loan at Middlesbrough from Everton

A 22-year-old man appeared in court in Scotland on Wednesday charged with sending Middlesbrough's Yannick Bolasie a racist message.

Kirk Thompson, 22, of Ravens Craig, Kirkcaldy, made a brief appearance at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court in private on a petition alleging that on March 9 he caused or intended to cause alarm or distress by sending a racist message to Boro winger Bolasie via an online platform.

Thompson made no plea or declaration and was committed for further examination and released on bail.

He is due to make a further court appearance at a later date.

Earlier this month, Bolasie highlighted a racist message he received on Instagram, and said: "Something seriously wrong with people... keyboard warriors.

"Still yet to meet a person who had this energy when they saw me."

Instagram said the account that abused Bolasie had been blocked from sending messages for a "set period of time".

The social media company added if the user continued to violate its policies or attempted to set up another account to get around this restriction, then the accounts would be removed.

After Bolasie revealed the message, Middlesbrough released a statement reading: "Middlesbrough FC has re-emphasised our zero-tolerance attitude towards discrimination in all forms.

"The racial abuse directed to Yannick Bolasie on social media yesterday is vile and unacceptable and demonstrates exactly why more has to be done to identify the perpetrators of such comments and to bring them to justice.

"The matter has been reported to the relevant authorities by both Yannick and ourselves and he has our full support. It is of great concern to the club that we are witnessing behaviour of this type and it cannot be allowed to continue.

"As our players said when responding to the debate on taking the knee, we now need to see demonstrable actions from those who have the power to implement them rather than further gestures. Actions must speak louder than words.

"We repeat that we will not tolerate abuse of any form and any individuals who are identified to us will not only face the prospect of criminal charges but will also be banned from the Riverside Stadium."

Bolasie's parent club Everton released their own statement, reading: "Everton has a zero-tolerance approach to any kind of racism or discrimination. There is no room for racism in football or society.

"By working together, we can fight discrimination wherever it exists. Everybody has a part to play and social media abuse should never go unreported.

"We also urge social media platforms to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour. Through challenging it and reporting it, we can all play a part in changing it."

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