Football's race row intensifies as black pundits are targeted online

Ex-player told to 'hang himself' after criticising Alan Hansen's use of word 'coloured' on television

Football's ongoing problems with alleged racism continued yesterday after claims that black players and pundits were being abused on Twitter.

Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore urged the microblogging site to attempt to stop the abuse after highlighting racist tweets he and others had received.

"Have a look at my favourites. Tell me Twitter shouldn't do something," the TalkSport presenter said as he posted a series of disturbing remarks, including one which made reference to his battle against depression urging him to "hang yourself" like Wales's former manager Gary Speed. It was signed "ok negrito".

Collymore had become caught up in a separate row over the use of the term "coloured" to describe black players by Alan Hansen, a presenter on the BBC's Match of the Day programme, when Collymore's followers mistakenly believed he had commented on the case.

Earlier, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish backed his players' show of support for Luis Suarez over an eight-match ban and £40,000 fine for reportedly using the word negrito to describe Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Dalglish said the Uruguayan had been "emotional and very grateful" after his team-mates' strongly worded statement backing him and for wearing T-shirts on Wednesday bearing his image and number. "The statement couldn't have caused anyone any trouble," Dalglish said. "I don't think it is ever a disappointment when the people you work for give you their undivided support."

Former footballer Paul McGrath said the display was "bad taste", criticising black Liverpool star Glen Johnson. He said: "If I was in Glen Johnson's situation, I'd have thrown the shirt to the floor."

But Johnson hit back on Twitter, saying: "I will support who I want when I want! There are a lot of reasons why I'm standing by Luis Suarez!"

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