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United, Chelsea Ban Fans for Various Abuses

Manchester United and Chelsea have reportedly banned some of their fans due to racial abuse. United have banned six of their fans for sending racist abuse to Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur. The abuse came in during their 3-1 win over Tottenham. 

The club said three season ticket holders, two official members and one person on the season ticket waiting list have been given suspensions. Chelsea on the other hand have banned one of their fan Sam Mole after court proceedings and investigation found him guilty of sending anti-semitic message online.

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A judge ruled earlier this year that the 20-years-old who hails from Kettering could not be charged for a racially or religiously aggravated offence because of a technicality, after he directed anti-Semitic abuse towards a Jewish journalist via social media.

Mole was out of the country when he sent the tweets two years ago and so was outside the jurisdiction of the UK’s courts to fine him or ban him. But he was issued with a three-year restraining order earlier this year preventing him from contacting freelance Chelsea reporter Dan Levene again.

According to a statement released buy Chelsea, it says the club everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club. Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included.

“In sport, as in wider society, we must create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they would be on the street. “As a club, we will continue to take action against individuals or groups who produce or disseminate social media posts that contravene these values.”

Manchester United Analysis on Abuse

On Friday, Manchester United revealed its own analysis had found a 350% increase in abuse directed towards the club’s players, with 3,300 posts targeting players during the period of September 2019 to February 2021.  It was also found that 86% of those posts were racist, while 8% were homophobic or transphobic.

United’s group managing director Richard Arnold said: “We have been actively campaigning against discrimination for some time through our All Red All Equal initiative.” He also said the level of support they have received for the work the fans has been hugely encouraging but these figures show that despite that, the level of abuse the players and fans receive is on the the high side. 

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