Police charge man over racial abuse of West Brom's Sawyers

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Leeds United - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - December 29, 2020 West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers in action Pool via REUTERS/Dave Rogers

(Reuters) - West Midlands Police have charged a 49-year-old man with racially abusing West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers on social media in January.

Numerous Premier League players have been subjected to racial abuse online in recent months, and English soccer has been piling pressure on social media companies to do more to tackle the issue.

Instagram has announced measures and Twitter has said it will continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019.

Sawyers was targeted after West Brom's 5-0 Premier League home defeat by Manchester City on Jan. 26.

"Simon Silwood is accused of sending an offensive message to the footballer via social media in January of this year," West Midlands Police said in a statement https://west-midlands.police.uk/news/man-charged-after-footballer-racially-abused.

"The 49-year-old from Kingswinford has been charged under the Communications Act to appear before Dudley Magistrates Court on 29 April."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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