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Sawyers: Stop to think of the impact abuse has

28 Apr 2021
NRFR Romain Sawyers

West Brom midfielder talks about the abusive messages he has received on social media

Romaine Sawyers has called on people using social media to think more about the impact that sending abusive messages can have on the recipients of them.

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder received racist abuse following the defeat by Manchester City at the end of January. Earlier this month, a man was charged with sending an offensive message to Sawyers via social media.

"It's heartbreaking that I'm receiving such messages, especially when I'm just trying to ply my trade," he said. "We're in the 21st century and it shouldn't really be happening."

CC

Sawyers says people should stop to think about the language they are using and the wider meaning of those words and how they may effect the target of them.

"I feel like you need to understand the words you're using, the background of the person, and the background of the words you're using," he says.

"But it's an uncomfortable conversation we have to have."

Support network

Sawyers was also thankful for all of the messages of support he received from colleagues and team-mates following the incident.

"I think I had more text messages that day than I did when we got promoted," he said.

"That speaks volumes of the people that I'm around as playing staff, coaching staff, media staff, and then my friends and family who are always going to be there.

"Everybody has to rally together, and then that's a message that'll get through to the masses."

Central reporting system

Tackling online hate is a priority for football, and the Premier League works with its clubs and partners to challenge social media companies on it.

Through its proactive monitoring service, the League continues to report offensive posts to social media platforms for removal.

As part of its ongoing commitment to take action and encourage reporting of discriminatory abusive messages on social media platforms, the League is supporting clubs to help their fans report racist abuse they see targeted at players.

See: How to report abuse on social media

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