Tammy Abraham: Frank Lampard demands social media firms crack down on abuse of players

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says social media companies need to do more to stop players being targeted after racial abuse aimed at striker Tammy Abraham.

The 21-year-old suffered the abuse after missing the decisive penalty in the Uefa Super Cup shootout defeat by Liverpool on Wednesday.

Chelsea have already condemned the "abhorrent posts" aimed at Abraham.

"Tammy is more than disappointed. I am disgusted by a so-called Chelsea fan," Lampard said.

"I don't know how it's allowed on the [social media] platforms. It's too easy, so something needs to be done.

"I'm so angry for Tammy and angry for us as a club because that's not what we're about, the club does a lot of work against discrimination on all levels.

"It's a setback when these things happens.

"I have spoken with Tammy, he is a strong character. He's infectious, he is a great young man and his football career is ahead of him. It will be a test of his character that he shouldn't need."

Those comments were echoed by former England defender Micah Richards, who told BBC Radio 5 Live that Abraham, a former team-mate at Aston Villa, should use the "disgusting" abuse as "fuel".

"If you get down you get into a mindset where you are feeling sorry for yourself," said Richards.

"Tammy is a confident lad and he is one of the nicest people which is why I know this will hurt him. He has got great ability and I want him to turn it into confidence to show these people what he is made of.

"He has worked so hard for this moment to play for Chelsea and to be their number nice, so do not let ignorant people spoil what he is trying to do."

Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas added: "The angle Frank has come from is a really intelligent one and it may wake up these companies to act.

"When I was playing, opposing fans managed to get hold of my mobile number and left me messages, sometimes racist messages. That was social media when I played and these are cowards hiding behind the screen."

Chelsea's reaction comes after Kick It Out issued a statement condemning the treatment of Abraham and calling for "social media companies to clamp down on this level of abuse".

It added: "We want to know what they are going to do to tackle this insidious problem."

Twitter says it remains "deeply committed to improving the health of the conversation" on the social media platform.

"We continue to take action on any account that violates the Twitter Rules," a spokesperson said this week.

Kick It Out also produced a report, released in July, which showed reports of racist abuse increased by 43% last season, with 274 cases compared with 192 the previous season.

In one of those, Chelsea suspended six fans for using "abusive language and threatening and aggressive behaviour" towards Manchester City and England player Raheem Sterling during a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in December 2018.

One of those fans was banned for life for using "racially abusive language" towards Sterling.

There were also two further cases of racial abuse involving Chelsea last season, which the club are investigating.

One involved a video which abused Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, and another where a supporter said he was abused by fellow Chelsea fans while attending a Europa League game at Slavia Prague.

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