Football News

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard echoes calls for social media to “clamp down” on racism after Tammy Abraham abuse

By Harry Edwards

Chelsea's Tammy Abraham during pre-season

Published: 17:24, 16 August 2019

Frank Lampard has expressed disgust toward “a so-called Chelsea fan” after Tammy Abraham was subjected to racial abuse on social media.

Chelsea’s Uefa Super Cup defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday went to penalties after extra-time concluded with the scoreline level at 2-2.

The first nine players all scored their efforts. Tammy Abraham had to convert his spot-kick to keep Chelsea in the shootout but saw his effort saved by Adrian.

Following the miss, Abraham became the target of abusive comments online. Lampard has called for social media to crack down on such forms of racism.

Chelsea released a statement via a club spokesman condemning the posts, saying: “We are disgusted with the abhorrent posts we have seen on social media.

“Chelsea FC finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour unacceptable. It has no place at this club and where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against them.”

Lampard called for social media platforms to work harder to combat the issue during Friday’s press conference.

“Tammy’s disappointed, who wouldn’t be more than disappointed,” he told reporters.

“I am particularly disgusted by a so-called Chelsea fan. I think to see the different spectrums of the evening Tammy asked me to take the fifth penalty as he wanted to take it and wanted to stand up and be brave on a night when the whole world is watching.

“And then at the same time within a moment or hours after someone sitting behind a keyboard or a phone has said the most disgusting things possible you can say.

“I don’t know on these platforms how it’s allowed and it’s so easy to be done. Something needs to be done and people changing their mindsets completely, that might not be easy with everybody.

“I’m so angry for Tammy and so angry for us as a club as that’s not what we’re about.

“The club does a lot of work against discrimination at all levels and it’s a setback when these things happen.”

Twitter themselves released a statement to PA the day before, saying: “We continue to take action on any account that violates the Twitter Rules.

“We welcome people to freely express themselves on our service, however, as outlined in our Hateful Conduct Policy, users cannot promote violence against, threaten or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity or other protected groups.

“We remain deeply committed to improving the health of the conversation on the service and in that respect we continue to prioritise the safety of our users.”

Kick It Out had previously issued a “call to action” urging the social media company to “clamp down” on offenders.

The anti-racism organisation said: “[On Wednesday] night we received reports of racist abuse at Tammy Abraham on social media after Chelsea’s Uefa Super Cup match.

“Such abuse is now increasingly predictable, but no less disgusting.

“We send our support to Tammy and reiterate our call for Twitter and other social media companies to clamp down on this level of abuse. This is a call to action – we want to know what they are going to do to tackle this insidious problem.”

“A great young man”

Lampard proceeded to praise Abraham for his character and doubled down on his belief the young striker can be a star for Chelsea this season.

He added: I’ve spoken with Tammy and he is a strong character. I love his character and he is infectious around the place.

“He’s a confident boy on the pitch that wants to do really well for this football club and he has an opportunity to do that for us this year. He’s a great, great young man and his football career is ahead of him.

“He’s experienced something there which I said is not right on all levels and it will be a test of his character that he shouldn’t need. He’s got great character.”

Manchester United players Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard posted messages of support for Abraham in the wake of the abuse.

The striker could reclaim his space in Lampard’s starting XI on Sunday when Chelsea host Leicester City.