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Man arrested for online hate crime towards Chelsea star as government promise to change law

A 21-year-old male was this morning arrested by Nottinghamshire police in relation to a number of hate crime messages sent to a Chelsea player last year following another weekend in which a number of players were abused on Twitter and Instagram.

The Metropolitan Police Service confirmed that the man was released pending further investigation having worked with Chelsea to identify him.

A statement posted on Twitter read: “This morning, @MPSFootballUnit officers assisted by @NottPolFootball attended an address in Retford and arrested a 21 year old male under the Malicious Communications Act.

“This was in response to an investigation into a number of Hate Crime messages that were posted in 2020on social media over a number of months.

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“These offences were brought to the attention of police by @ChelseaFC who have worked with the MPS to identify the suspect. The male was interviewed at a police station and released under investigation.”

A number of players were abused online over the past 72 hours, including Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe and Lauren James, the sister of Chelsea’s Reece James, the FA said that they “implore government to act quickly and bring in appropriate legislation.”

That led to Oliver Dowden, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport secretary, promising new laws to hold social media platforms accountable for racist posts.

Dowden said that the abuse was “absolutely shocking” and social media companies “can start showing their duty of care to players today by weeding out racist abuse now.”

The FA statement read: “It has been yet another weekend where players are facing discriminatory abuse and having to deal with anonymous keyboard warriors who hide in a world of impunity. At The FA, we believe that enough is enough.

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