Following Manchester United’s draw against Arsenal on Saturday, January 30, 2021, Chelsea defender Reece James was the victim of racist abuse on social media. Refusing to put himself at the level of his detractors, the 21-year-old shared on Twitter: “Yes, I am a black man and I live every day being proud of it.” While a few days earlier defender Axel Tuanzebe and striker Anthony Martial had also suffered racist slurs after their home loss to Sheffield United in midweek, Prince William decided to speak up.
The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, condemned the racist abuse still seen in the game and urged social media companies to eliminate abusive posts. In a series of tweets, he said: “Racist abuse – whether on the pitch, in the stands or on social media – is despicable and must end now. We all have a responsibility to create an environment in which such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hatred and division are held accountable for their actions. This responsibility extends to the platforms where much of this activity currently takes place. I commend all of these. players, supporters, clubs and organizations who continue to denounce and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms. “
“Something must change”
If the young player received the support of Prince William, his club also condemned the malicious remarks against him in a statement. It reads: “Everyone at Chelsea FC is disgusted by the racist abuse Reece James received on social media on Friday night. This club finds racism and any form of discriminatory behavior totally unacceptable. We totally condemn it. sport, as in society in general, we need to create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they are on the streets. We join our voices to those urging platforms and regulators to take stronger, more effective and more urgent action against this despicable behavior. Something has to change and it has to happen now. “
Prince William © Agency