Sheffield United working with police after Blades players suffer online abuse

CHRIS WILDER has revealed that Sheffield United have contacted police authorities regarding some online abuse that his players have experienced this season.

High-profile instances of social media abuse towards players have been highlighted in recent times across the country, with Axel Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all reporting racist abuse following Manchester United’s recent home defeat to the Blades.

Greater Manchester Police have revealed they will be launching an investigation into the posts sent to the trio, while the Premier League club has offered its support.

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Tuanzebe was again targeted after Manchester United’s weekend home game with Everton, prompting the Football Association to issue a strong 127-word statement condemning the online racism footballers are facing from "keyboard warriors who hide in a world of impunity".

The statement added that it will do "everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game".

It comes after Premier League referee Mike Dean recently notified police after his family received a number of threats, including death threats, and abusive messages.

Dean has received criticism for sending off Southampton defender Jan Bednarek last Tuesday and West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek on Saturday.

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Bednarek's dismissal was overturned on appeal, while Soucek's red card was rescinded on Monday.

Pressure is growing on the Government and social media companies to tackle this scourge and an impassioned Wilder says that action must now be taken, while highlighting that some of his own players have also been abused online.

Wilder said: "I'm not going to talk about it in detail but there's ongoing stuff at our club with the police.

"That's as much as I'll say and I don't think the police should be dealing with it, but they've been brilliant.

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"Sometimes it crosses the line and it has at our football club, hence the situation we're dealing with. There's arguments, banter and debate and people don't agree with each other, but there's a line and it's been stepped over for everyone.

"I'm from an age where I wasn't using social media and I still don't. I understand the benefits of it, but this isn't all one way traffic with how good social media is. For me, it's disgusting and we all get affected by it. The people that run these organisations have got to look at themselves and take the responsibility.

"It isn't football and it isn't life, no-one should be able to get away with it. There's stuff at the club that I can't discuss that players have received and it's not acceptable. I think the media companies are getting away with it and making money at the same time."

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