Prince William condemns 'despicable' racist abuse directed at black footballers

31 January 2021, 18:41 | Updated: 31 January 2021, 19:04

Prince William has slammed racism in football and demanded it stops now
Prince William has slammed racism in football and demanded it stops now. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Racist abuse in football "is despicable and it must stop now", the Duke of Cambridge has said.

Prince William, who is president of the Football Association (FA), called on everyone in the game to create an environment where such behaviour is not accepted.

It comes after a number of black footballers were subjected to racial abuse online this week, including Chelsea defender Reece James, West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and Manchester United trio Axel Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

He said those who "choose to spread hate and division" should be held accountable for any abuse dished out, whether it is on the pitch, in the stands or on social media.

The duke praised players, clubs, supporters and organisations who have pushed to drive such behaviour out the game.

Watch: 'Completely wrong' for fans to boo players taking knee - James Cleverly

Watch: Ex-footballer explains what happened when he spoke to anti-BLM fans

Ex-footballer explains what happened when he spoke to anti-BLM fans

"Racist abuse - whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media - is despicable and it must stop now," he said in a string of tweets.

"We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions.

"That responsibility extends to the platforms where so much of this activity now takes place.

"I commend all those players, supporters, clubs and organisations who continue to call out and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms."

On Sunday, the FA promised to work with ministers and social media companies in eradicating racism from the sport.

A statement posted on the association's Twitter account said: “We are 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.”

Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has launched an investigation after receiving reports of social media abuse directed towards United players in the past week.

"A number of these comments have been reported to us and we are liaising with those involved to provide support and we will be investigating these crimes thoroughly," a GMP statement said.

So far, a 49-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of racially abusing Sawyers.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

England lost to Spain in the Euro 2024 final

England's heartbreak as Spanish goal four minutes from time seals Euro 2024 final defeat

Prince William and Prince George at the Euro 2024 final

Smiling Prince George attends Euro 2024 final with Prince William as England face off against Spain

Kate with Charlotte at Wimbledon

Princess Kate looks radiant in purple as she presents Wimbledon trophy at men's final

Corey Comperatore was killed during the Trump rally attack.

Pictured: Man killed in shooting at Trump rally as he 'tried to shield family from bullets'

Carlos Alcaraz has retained his Wimbledon title

Carlos Alcaraz retains Wimbledon title as he beats Novak Djokovic for second year in a row

England are facing Spain in the final

England 1-2 Spain: Heartbreak for England as Spain win Euros 2024

Melania Trump shared an emotional statement on the incident

Melania Trump breaks silence after attempted assassination of husband Donald at rally

The wife and two daughters of racing commentator John Hunt were killed at their Hertfordshire home

Bereaved racing commentator John Hunt has fundraiser set up after wife and two daughters killed

Princess Kate has made just her second appearance since her cancer diagnosis - as she prepares to bestow the Wimbledon men's singles trophy at the All England Club.

Princess Kate arrives at Wimbledon as crowd applauds for royal's second engagement since cancer shock

Donald Trump was shot at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania yesterday

‘We will FEAR NOT’: Trump urges Americans to ‘stay united’ after attempted assassination

Graziano Di Prima has broken his silence

Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima allegedly 'spat, kicked and berated' Zara McDermott before sacking

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Gunshots and a defiant fist: How the first attempted assassination against a Presidential candidate in 52 years unfolded

What will following the shooting of Donald Trump?

Donald Trump shot during campaign rally: Jon Sopel explains what it means for the US Presidential race

The nation is gripped by Euros fever

England expects! Nation gripped by Euros fever as fans prepare for historic final against Spain

Donald Trump has been shot through the ear at a rally in Pennsylvania - as one bystander was killed and two others were critically injured.

Pictured: Shocking scenes as gunman shoots Donald Trump during rally leaving one bystander dead

Liz Truss has reacted to her party's terrible election results

Liz Truss blames Tory election drubbing on Rishi Sunak ‘trashing her record’ before pointing finger at Tony Blair