football

Man charged by West Midlands Police over racist abuse of West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers on social media


The footballer was the subject of racist messages back in January (Picture: AP)

A 49-year-old man has been charged by West Midlands Police for racially abusing West Bromwich Albion midfielder Romaine Sawyers on social media earlier this year.

Simon Silwood, from Kingswinford near Dudley, was arrested at the end of January after sending an ‘abhorrent message’ to Sawyers on social media during West Brom’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on January 26.

A statement on Tuesday from West Midlands Police read: ‘We’ve charged a man after West Bromwich Albion player Romaine Sawyers was racially abused online.

Sawyers was subjected to the abuse during his side’s loss to Man City (Picture: Getty)

‘Simon Silwood is accused of sending an offensive message to the footballer via social media in January of this year.

‘The 49-year-old from Kingswinford has been charged under the Communications Act to appear before Dudley Magistrates Court on 29 April.

‘The investigation has been carried out by PC Stuart Ward who is the UK’s first dedicated hate crime officer within a football unit.

‘He is at the forefront of our unit’s ongoing work to stamp out any abuse against footballers and fans.’

The force have also been investigating another report of a racism comment aimed at Swayers, while West Brom also had to contact police after striker Callum Robinson was the target of a string of racist messages after the side beat Chelsea 5-2 at the start of the month.

A number of high-profile players, past and present, have been subjected to racist abuse on their social media pages in recent months, with the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Reece James, Fred and Ryan Sessegnon sharing the messages they have received.

Sawyers’ teammate Robinson was also targeted with racist abuse (Picture: Getty)

Social media bosses are under increasing pressure to implement tougher measures to prevent individuals – who often hide behind anonymous, unverified profiles – from being able to send out abuse.

Former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry announced last month that he was quitting social media over until proper action was taken over racist abuse, with a number of Premier League clubs – including the Gunners and Spurs – considering following suit until the issue is addressed.

More to follow…


MORE :
West Brom contact police as Callum Robinson is subjected to vile racist abuse after win over Chelsea


MORE : Thierry Henry quits Instagram and Twitter as Arsenal legend calls for action over racist abuse

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