Aston Villa have reported “sickening and abhorrent” online racist abuse of teenage winger Tyreik Wright to West Midlands Police. The Premier League club said the messages received on Wright’s Instagram account had also been flagged to the social media platform.
A club statement read: “Aston Villa Football Club is appalled by the racist abuse of one our academy players, Tyreik Wright. Tyreik, who is currently on loan at Walsall, received sickening and abhorrent messages via his Instagram account, messages which the club have reported to both the social media platform and West Midlands Police.
“The club is liaising with WMP’s Hate Crime Unit who are now investigating this incident. Aston Villa will work alongside Walsall FC to provide Tyreik with any support he requires and will continue to do everything we can to report and help root out all forms of discrimination.”
Wright, 19, currently on loan at Walsall, received a torrent of abuse on Tuesday night after posting a news story about schoolchildren avoiding criminal charges for a racially-motivated attack on another student. Republic of Ireland Under-19 international Wright posted screenshots of the messages he then received on Instagram.
The incident is the latest in a long list of online cases of racist abuse. Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda recently criticised Facebook’s decision to keep open the account of the person who racially abused him on social media.
Manchester United players Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Anthony Martial and Lauren James are among those who have been the targets of racist abuse on social media, along with West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and Chelsea defender Reece James - Lauren’s brother.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce revealed he had been made aware of social media users wishing him dead, while referee Mike Dean recently stood down from a Premier League game after he and his family received death threats.
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