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Kean Bryan and Chris Wilder condemn online abuse as Sheffield United take a stand

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and defender Kean Bryan have both spoken out about online abuse.

In fact Wilder has confirmed that things have gone even further at the club.

“I’m not going to talk about it in detail but there’s ongoing stuff at our club with the police,” the 53-year-old told The Sheffield Star.

“That’s as much as I’ll say and I don’t think the police should be dealing with it, but they’ve been brilliant.

“Sometimes it crosses the line and it has at our football club, hence the situation we’re dealing with. There’s arguments, banter and debate and people don’t agree with each other, but there’s a line and it’s been stepped over for everyone.”

Wilder spoke at length on the subject during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Blades’ FA Cup fifth round tie with Bristol City on Wednesday.

It comes after referee Mike Dean has withdrawn from officiating Premier League games this weekend. Dean received death threats for showing a red card for West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek.

There have also been several examples of black footballers being targeted with racism online.

Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial have both been racially abused in recent weeks. Chelsea are also investigating racist abuse sent to Antonio Rudiger.

In truth, there are too many examples to list, which tells a concerning story in itself.

Sheffield United defender Kean Bryan speaks out too

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Bryan has also condemned the abuse he has seen targeted at his fellow professionals.

“It’s definitely going too far and it’s been a problem for too long now,” the 24-year-old told The Sheffield Star.

“I’m a black person and I understand the difficulties players are going through. Axel got some abuse and it’s not right.

“We go on social media to express how we are as people and give the best image of us, not to get abuse off fans.

“No one can do anything about their skin colour and something needs to happen, whether it’s the FA or government. I know they’re speaking about punishments, but we’re hearing that again and again and something needs to happen.

“I’ve never received racial abuse, but I understand why some people are thinking of coming off because enough is enough.”

Sadly this isn’t the first time

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In July last year, the Blades worked with the authorities after David McGoldrick was racially abused online – as Sky Sports reported at the time.

A few weeks prior, McGoldrick had been instrumental in players taking a knee before the game for Black Lives Matter.

It’s something that is now commonplace and is still clearly needed when seeing the amount of people who remain victims of racist abuse.

Aaron Ramsdale has also highlighted how abuse online can affect players.

It’s inexcusable and it’s good to see Wilder and the club both taking such a strong stand against it.

Because it’s only through calling it out that there can be hope for change.

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