Police investigate ‘racist message’ sent to West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers with midfielder, 29, targeted by abuse during 5-0 defeat to Man City as club vow to hand lifetime ban to sender
- West Brom contacted police over abuse sent to Romaine Sawyers on social media during their 5-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday night
- Police are now investigating a ‘racist message’ directed to the 29-year-old
- In a statement, West Brom condemned the ‘abhorrent message’ sent to Sawyers
Police are investigating a ‘racist message’ sent to West Bromwich Albion midfielder Romaine Sawyers during his team’s defeat by Manchester City.
Albion have contacted the West Midlands force after Sawyers received the abuse via social media and have pledged to ban the sender for life.
A West Brom statement read: ‘Everyone at the club is appalled by the abhorrent message which was sent during Tuesday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City.
West Midlands police are investigating ‘racist’ abuse aimed at West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers
In a statement, West Brom condemned the abuse and promised a lifetime ban to the sender
‘The club has a proud history of confronting all forms of discrimination and will assist the authorities with their inquiries, seeking the toughest available legal punishment, as well as a lifetime ban from The Hawthorns for the individual responsible.
‘Albion will offer Romaine the relevant support required at this time and continues with its long-standing commitment to help rid football of racism.
‘There is No Room For Racism. Anywhere.’
Sawyers grew up in the West Brom academy before rejoining the club from Brentford in summer 2019.
The 29-year-old helped Albion to promotion last season and has made 18 appearances in the Premier League this term.
Sawyers (right) was targeted by abuse on social media during West Brom’s loss to Man City
On his public Instagram page, Sawyers is a visible support of the PFA’s ‘ENOUGH’ campaign
On Friday, Manchester United club chief Charlie Brooks insisted players are ‘absolutely sick’ of receiving racial abuse on social media after Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were targeted by online trolls.
Tuanzebe, 23, was subjected to vile racist comments on his Instagram account following United’s shock defeat at home to Sheffield United on Wednesday night – including one which read ‘DAMNNN N*****’ as well as several abhorrent monkey emojis on an old photo that he had posted a fortnight ago of his United shirt and number.
Martial was also subjected to abuse after playing the whole game, leading United to call for social media sites to eradicate abuse posted by ‘anonymous mindless idiots’.
The club’s Director of Communications Brooks said the United players are ‘sick’ of the ‘hate-filled’ abuse online and urged social media platforms to create verifiable and identifiable accounts so the perpetrators can be caught.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Brooks said: ‘The players are sick of it, absolutely sick of it, we as a club are sick of it. We as a club have a long-standing commitment to combating racism through our own All Red All Equal initiative.
Manchester United have condemned the disgusting racist abuse suffered by defender Axel Tuanzebe (left) and French striker Anthony Martial (right) on social media
Monkey emojis were posted on a picture the defender posted a couple of weeks ago
‘It’s something we’ve focused on both on a campaigning level and on a practical help level. We will of course help the players, all clubs do that, the Premier League do that, they have an online reporting system for players and their families but ultimately nobody should have to face this in their place of work and that’s what it is for the players.
‘The players are used to criticism in their roles, they’re used to being public figures but no one should have to put up with what they have to put with on social media. And we’ve had discussions with the social media platforms and they’re committed to helping.
‘They have better monitoring they will take down accounts when they see abuse but really the impetus has to be on them to create verifiable and identifiable accounts because while they are allowed to stay anonymous these people can continue to spout these vile views.’