Chelsea Football Club has banned one of its supporters for 10 years, after he sent abusive antisemitic messages sent to a Jewish journalist.
Sam Mole, who was issued with a three-year restraining order in February, sent antisemitic and homophobic messages to Dan Levene, including one wishing he would die and lamenting that he had not be murdered in the Holocaust.
The perpetrator was however allowed to walk free from court in February, because he was on holiday in Australia at the time of the offence, and outside the jurisdiction of the law.
Following an internal investigation, Chelsea issued a statement saying it “has taken the decision to ban the individual from Chelsea FC for a period of 10 years.”
Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club. Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included. We will not tolerate any behaviour from supporters that threatens that aim.”
The club, which will participate in a social media boycott starting on Friday to protest racism online, said: “In sport, as in wider society, we must create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they would be on the street.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Chelsea should be applauded for banning an abusive troll for ten years. This announcement sends a powerful message that antisemitism in football and online must not be tolerated. Football clubs walking out of social media over online hate is one thing, but backing it up with strong action like this is the strongest antidote.”
The trainee teacher from Kettering, who reportedly expressed remorse, was given restraining order, prohibiting him from contacting Dan Levene.
In January 2018, Chelsea Football Club launched its ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign, raising awareness about racism in sport.
*Warning: The screenshots contain of antisemitic abuse and offensive language.
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