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On Reece James and racist abuse on social media

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Zero tolerance for racism

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

We’re living in a strange and troubled world, where any sense of “normal” has not been last felt for almost a year, where our collective health, be that physical or mental, are at all-time highs of risk from multiple angles of ... life.

We’re fortunate to be able to still share in a sense of community. We are all gathered here, specifically on this site, to discuss and follow Chelsea, our favorite club. Meanwhile, social media has opened up the world to each other, allowing us to further connect with friends and strangers. But this power comes with good and bad.

Far be it from me to make this a commentary on the landscape of social media and how to “fix” its shortcomings. But the bad is what happened to Reece James this week. And it was very bad. Abhorrent, in fact.

I would hope that we can all agree that abuse of any kind, especially racist abuse is completely unacceptable. It’s horrendous. It’s disgusting that anyone would diminish another human being because of the color of their skin.

What happened to James is becoming all too frequent, with Manchester United players Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial receiving similar disgusting messages on their social media platforms. Chelsea players Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma received similar abuse last year, though that’s far from an exhaustive list either in terms of their experiences, or the experiences of many other Chelsea players.

The show of support from the club, teammates, and peers have been wonderful to see. At the same time, it’s disappointing that we are here in this moment once again because terrible humans exist and choose to abuse.

It’s disheartening that this has happened to James, a wonderful young human being, who’s gone above and beyond as the pandemic raged on in London, donating to and volunteering with the Felix Project to deliver food to families in need. And this is the thanks he gets.

We need more people like James in this world. We need people like James to show that charity and philanthropy is a positive use of one’s free time. Not typing racist abuse into the internet.

“When it is hard to be positive, what is the best thing to be? Positive.” That idea is relatively simple, and yet one that is not easy to follow.

Be positive.

KTBFFH.


I’ve been a member of this fantastic community long before having the privilege to contribute. I think highly of this community, and that the commentary and members here are measured and more respectful than what may be found with other venues and mediums.

The moderation team do our utmost best to enforce our guidelines. To be absolutely clear, racist language and abuse will not be tolerated here.