ROMAN HERO

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH has written to every single Chelsea player for the first time ever vowing to put money towards ending racial abuse on social media.

Last week, Blues star Reece James, 21, revealed he had been subjected to sick racist abuse and demanded: ‘Something needs to change’.

Abramovich has vowed to use his wealth to help combat social media racism

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Abramovich has vowed to use his wealth to help combat social media racismCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Abramovich sent a letter to every Chelsea player vowing to help end racist abuse on social media

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Abramovich sent a letter to every Chelsea player vowing to help end racist abuse on social media

Now Russian billionaire Abramovich has sent a letter to each and every Chelsea player vowing to make funds available to help combat vile trolls.

Abramovich wrote: “I am appalled by the racist abuse targeted at Reece on social media.

“Racism has no place in our club nor in our society.

“Our club is committed to fighting racism, antisemitism and all forms of discrimination.”

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In the letter, as reported by the Daily Mail, Abramovich continued: “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 will personally direct more funds towards this important work.

“We will be setting out our actions as a club in the coming days.”

In a horrifying week, Manchester United trio Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were all racially abused on social media after two separate matches.

Reece James was targeted by vile racists last week

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Reece James was targeted by vile racists last weekCredit: PA:Press Association

Tuanzebe and Martial revealed they were trolled after the 2-1 loss against Sheffield United, while Rashford spoke up following the 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has warned social media giants they face massive fines if they do not clamp down on racist abuse of footballers.

Dowden hosted the first ’round table’ racism summit with stars including Jordan Henderson, Tyrone Mings and SunSport columnist Troy Deeney last week.

But since then a series of sickening incidents have seen Rashford, Martial, Tuanzebe, James and West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers all targeted by racist trolls.

Now Dowden has made it clear that enough is enough and vowed to make the social media companies pay if they do not police themselves properly.

Dowden told talkSPORT: “At the meeting the first thing that came across was just how unacceptable this is.

“It’s perfectly reasonable for players to engage on social media as part of doing their job as footballers and communicating with their fans.

“But they were telling me the price of that is racist abuse and that is the sort of abuse they cannot get away from.

“It is on their mobile phones and they saw it first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

“That made me more determined and we need to take some action in relation to it.”

Man Utd stars Rashford and Martial are just two players to have been racially abused on social media in the past week alone

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Man Utd stars Rashford and Martial are just two players to have been racially abused on social media in the past week aloneCredit: AFP

Dowden promised upcoming legislation would ensure the social media companies were ‘held to account’ for their actions.

He added: “I can tell you we are going to hold them to account with this new legislation.

“If they don’t up their game we will enforce their own duty of care terms to people who use their platforms and they could face very large fines of up to ten per cent of their global revenue.

“There is a new age of global accountability required for social media companies.

“It is perfectly reasonable to say that they need to up their game and not allow racist abuse to fester on their platforms.

“And if they fail to do so they will face consequences and serious fines.”

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