Bolton say they are “sickened to the core” after forward Elias Kachunga was subject to racist abuse on Instagram.
The 29-year-old German winger, who joined the League One club on a two-year deal in August, received “sickening racist and hateful comments” on his personal account after their 0-0 draw against Burton on Monday.
In a statement, Bolton said they reported the comments to the police and will offer Kachunga any necessary support as the team prepares for the game at Ipswich on Saturday.
“Racism and hatred have no place at all in society and I was sickened to the core on hearing this disgusting abuse directed at one of our players,” said Bolton chairman Sharon Brittan.
“I have spoken with Elias and his partner and they are understandably upset by these messages. My immediate thoughts are with them, as well as his team-mates who are repulsed by the language that was used.
“We as a club stand firm in saying that racism and discrimination will not be tolerated and we have reported this to the Police and relevant authorities. I have also spoken with the EFL today regarding future steps we can take together to eradicate this hatred from our game.
“We will not rest until positive action is taken and social media companies take the necessary steps to eradicate unsolicited hatred from their platforms.”
Wanderers manager Ian Evatt added: “I was appalled when I heard that Elias had received these disgraceful posts. Any right-minded person will have been as sickened as we were.
“We as a society must do more to show that racism and discrimination will never be tolerated and social media companies have to make people accountable for what they post on their platforms.
“Elias has the full support of everyone at the club and we hope that whoever sent these awful messages to him is dealt with appropriately.”
Sky Sports News has approached Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, for comment.
We need to ‘protect our people’
English Football League chair Rick Parry added: “In a week when the shortcomings of social media platforms have been highlighted once again, it is sickening to see the vitriolic racist abuse directed at Bolton Wanderers’ Elias Kachunga.
“The EFL stands together with Elias, Bolton Wanderers and all those who continue to be targeted by these mindless idiots and we will continue to work proactively as we attempt to remove this unacceptable behaviour and protect our people.
“There are clearly multiple solutions required to fix the social media challenge we currently face and following football’s collective call to strengthen the draft of the Online Safety Bill earlier (on Thursday), we once again have to remind the platforms that they have a responsibility and the power to implement the changes required.”
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