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James: Racist online abuse made me angry

28 Feb 2021

Chelsea defender and Callum Hudson-Odoi tell beIN about the hurt of receiving discriminatory messages

Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi have opened up about the online racist abuse they have received recently.

"It's terrible that it obviously still happens and I receive the messages that I received," James told beIN Sports. “It made me very upset and angry when I got them, and I think we can do a lot more to help put an end to it."

The Chelsea defender believes that social media companies have a responsibility to stop the abuse as well as those sending it receiving punishment.

"I think media platforms can do more," he said. "When anything happens, they should be able to help track the person and go from there.

"I think more people are getting racist abuse and it only makes sense to put a stop to it and the people that are capable of doing that, I think they should take action.

"The people that are affecting lives, they should be named and punished as well."

'We have to do something about it'

Hudson-Odoi echoed his team-mate’s sentiment, especially as the abuse often came after matches.

"So, when we are receiving stuff like that, we feel like it's embarrassing to us, that we are playing our hearts out and trying to play the game as much as possible, to try and win games, and then if we don't win or do something wrong, we are receiving bad things from other people," the Chelsea winger said.

"If somebody puts, for example, a monkey emoji towards a player, what does that mean to a player?

"All of us take that personally as a team, and as players and we are like, we have to do something about it."

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi

"Seeing stuff like that, it always makes us angry because we are like, 'Are you saying that because of our skin colour?'

"Or, are you just saying that because you think that you are funny or you want to get a laugh out of people? But no one laughs at that sort of situation.

"All of us take that personally as a team, and as players and we are like, we have to do something about it."

How to report racism

The Premier League’s online abuse reporting system supports players, managers and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse.

The League and clubs encourage fans to continue to play their part in the fight against racism by reporting it whenever they encounter it.

See: How to report racism

Free resources to educate on racism

As part of its No Room For Racism initiative, the League has produced free learning resources in the Premier League Primary Stars programme for schools and families to help educate children about diversity, inclusion and racism.

Players such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Conor Coady, Hamza Choudhury and Michail Antonio speak about the impact of racism and the importance of diversity to inspire and teach young people.

See: PL Primary Stars: This is Everyone's Game - Black Voices

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