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Chelsea left ‘disgusted’ by online racism directed at Reece James and calls for more action

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Chelsea has called on social media platforms to do more to tackle racism online after defender Reece James was subject to abuse on Friday.

The 21-year-old said “something needs to change” after he posted a screenshot of abusive messages he received via Instagram.

His club said it was “disgusted” by the abuse and condemned all forms of discrimination.

“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,” read a statement on the club’s website.

“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.”

It comes just days after Manchester United duo Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were also targeted online, with a number of racist comments and symbols appearing on old photos on Instagram.

READ: Football’s fight against racism and discrimination is only just beginning

‘We all have a part to play’

James received support from players on social media and called for everyone to take a stand.

“We all have a part to play in making this world a better & more equal place! Racism is completely unacceptable! Human is our only race,” he wrote on Twitter.

CNN reached out to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram regarding the latest incident but none was immediately available for comment.

Last year, Facebook and Instagram announced they would set up a team to fight racism on their platforms and assess racial bias in their algorithms.

“Racism is not tolerated on Facebook and Instagram,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNN after similar incidents in 2020.

“When we find content that breaks our guidelines we will remove it and we will ban those who repeatedly break the rules.”

The English Premier League has continued to oppose racism, and teams have been taking a knee ahead of matches in solidarity.

English football’s governing body, The FA, also said it stood “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,” it wrote on Twitter.

The UK government met with former and current players last week to discuss tackling discriminatory abuse online.

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