Sheffield man released by police after arrest over racial tweet received by Wigan Athletic player

A Sheffield man arrested after a racially abusive tweet was received by a Wigan Athletic player has been released while enquiries continue.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 12 April, 2019, 16:32

The 20-year-old handed himself in at Blackpool police station on Saturday night after a ‘racially offensive message’ was sent to Wigan Athletic footballer Nathan Byrne on Twitter.

Wigan Athletic player Nathan Byrne

He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and malicious communications.

It is believed that the message was sent by a Twitter user while in Lancashire.

The suspect has been released under investigation pending a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Byrne posted a screenshot on his Twitter account showing a message he received following the Latics' 2-2 draw with Bristol City.

In a statement, Wigan said: "Wigan Athletic Football Club are angered by racist abuse received on the personal Twitter account of one of our players, Nathan Byrne, on Saturday afternoon.

"We have reported the incident to the police and will work with the relevant authorities to assist them with their investigations.

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"There is no place for discrimination in society and social media is not an exception to those rules. We find this behaviour abhorrent."

The English Football League said it was ‘saddened, disappointed and angered’ by instances of alleged racist abuse towards a number of players last weekend.

In addition to the Wigan incident, Brentford said they ‘utterly condemn discrimination’ after a season-ticket holder was arrested following a claim of abuse by Derby midfielder Duane Holmes.

Northampton have also revealed that several of their first-team squad were allegedly abused ahead of their game at Notts County as they went on a pre-match walk from the team hotel before their Sky Bet League Two game at Meadow Lane.

The EFL said in a statement: "The EFL was saddened, disappointed and angered to hear of further reports of alleged racism following the conclusion of some matches on Saturday afternoon.

"It was exceptionally disappointing that this happened as clubs up and down the country were raising awareness of such issues as part of Kick it Out's Week of Action.

"We remain fully committed to continuing to work alongside The FA and Premier League as well as other relevant parties to ensure that football provides a welcoming environment for supporters attending matches and those participating in them.

"We cannot, and will not, accept this type of behaviour inside our stadiums, as we know our clubs won't."

Kick It Out also released a statement on Twitter condemning the latest incidents.

It read: "Another week, another group of players racially abused.

"We won't stop highlighting this disgraceful behaviour while it remains deeply ingrained within football. We'll be liaising with the relevant authorities and offering support to clubs and players involved."