Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has pledged funds to tackle racism in a personal letter to his players.
Blues defender Reece James was the target of abuse on social media, receiving a torrent of messages which included monkey emojis and racist remarks.
Sharing these messages on his Instagram story, the Englishman said: “Something needs to change!”
And Abramovich, who is Jewish, has written to all his players – for the first time since buying the club in 2003 – declaring that he will put funds towards tackling the problem.
In the letter, the 57-year-old said: “I am appalled by the racist abuse targeted at Reece on social media Racism has no place in our club nor in our society.
Roman Abramovich has sent a letter to his Chelsea players pledging funds to tackle racism
(Image: Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)
“Our club is committed to fighting racism, antisemitism and all forms of discrimination. I want you to know that as players you all have my and the club’s absolute support.
“The racist abuse targeted at Reece follows a number of recent incidents and I know that several of our players have been the targets of hate and discrimination on social media.
“It shocks me that only days after we commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day, we as a society do not seem to have learned the lessons of our shared past and the consequences that hate and discrimination can have.
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Reece James of Chelsea crosses the ball during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Image: 2020 Chelsea FC)
“We cannot allow this to continue unchecked.
“I have therefore directed the board to further increase the club’s efforts in this area and I…