Top Chelsea stars welcome Roman Abramovich efforts in fight against racism

Nick Purewal, PA
·2-min read

Top Chelsea stars have welcomed owner Roman Abramovich personally funding the club’s latest fight against racism, the ‘No To Hate’ campaign.

Chelsea’s senior players are pleased with the club’s latest moves to combat discrimination and abuse, the PA news agency understands.

Owner Abramovich has provided new funds for Chelsea to bolster their support for their players around social media and combating abuse on the platforms.

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The Blues will publish a new social media policy, to include guidance for fans on how to identify and report online abuse.

Chelsea’s England defender Reece James suffered racial abuse on Instagram in January, sparking the club’s renewed initiatives.

And now Chelsea will seek to report and even remove abusive comments from online platforms. Chelsea continue to lead the way in the Premier League when it comes to high-profile campaigns against racism, with their players understood to be heartened by the club’s latest steps.

“In January 2021, our player Reece James suffered disgusting and unacceptable racist abuse on social media,” read a Chelsea statement. “This was not an isolated incident. Several of our players have been, and continue to be, the targets of hate and discrimination online.

“We as a club will not tolerate this any longer. We agree wholeheartedly with our players that something needs to change, in football and beyond.

“That is why, in the aftermath of the abuse suffered by Reece in January, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich directed the board to further increase the club’s efforts to fight racism and committed to personally directing funds towards this important work.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Second Leg – Stamford Bridge
Reece James, pictured, suffered racist abuse on Instagram in January (Adam Davy/PA)

“Today we can announce that as a result of this directive from Mr Abramovich, we are launching the first steps in our new ‘No To Hate’ campaign.”

Allied to increasing their help for players on social media, Chelsea also pledged to boost support of victims of racist abuse at the club.

Vowing also to increase opportunities at the club for “black, Asian and other underrepresented minority coaches”, Chelsea will push their ‘No To Hate’ initiative alongside the long-running ‘Say No To Anti-Semitism’ campaign.

“The racist abuse of Reece on social media was a painful reminder that we need to do more,” said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck.

“Mr Abramovich directed me and the board to identify further action we could take to tackle racism in football and society, and today we launch ‘No To Hate’, a campaign which we fervently hope will have a tangible positive impact for our players, staff, fans and communities.”