A 49-year-old man has been charged by police with alleged racist abuse of West Brom star Romaine Swayers.
Simon Silwood was arrested by police in January after the 29-year-old midfielder received a racist message on social media during a 5-0 home defeat against Manchester City at the Hawthorns.
But now West Midlands police have confirmed that the Kingswinford city man has been charged and will appear before a magistrates court on April 29.
A man has been charged with racist abuse against Romaine Sawyers
The 29-year-old got the racist message in West Brom’s defeat to Manchester City
A statement read: ‘We have charged a man after West Bromwich Albion player Romaine Sawyers was racially abused online.
Simon Silwood is accused of sending an offensive message to the footballer via social media in January of this year.
The 49-year-old from Kingswinford has been charged under the Communications Act to appear before Dudley Magistrates Court on April 29.
The investigation was conducted by PC Stuart Ward, the UK’s first hate crime officer in a football unit.
Sawyers is the third Albion player to be targeted, and Callum Robinson is also being abused
Robinson shared an image of the abuse he received on Instagram that has been reported
“He is at the forefront of our unit’s ongoing work to eradicate any abuse against footballers and fans.”
Sawyers is one of three Albion players to have been racially abused this season, with Callum Robinson and another star not wanting to be named, also targeted online, club boss Sam Allardyce said last week.
The news comes after that Sportsmail revealed that Premier League clubs will unite and boycott all social media for an entire weekend in their bid to oppose the vile racist abuse of footballers.
Son Heung-min is the latest top star to face gruesome racist abuse after being accused of acting in Tottenham’s defeat to Manchester United after visitors disallowed a goal after getting a hand in the face.
But last week, West Brom boss Allardyce said the government should take a more active role in eradicating racist abuse after striker Robinson received 70 separate messages from 20 different Instagram accounts.
The news comes as Premier League clubs want to boycott social media for a weekend
“The solution can only be brought about by people in the government hierarchy and those in these companies (social media companies),” Allardyce said.
‘People hiding behind fake sites and posting obscene messages, in the world we live in now and the technology, just isn’t good enough.
‘The club has done their best – they wrote to Instagram, but I think we were going to get a weak response, not a good one.
“The people who run these sites, which make them trillions of pounds, have the technology to know where it’s happening and what’s going on. They are clearly not doing enough at the moment. ‘
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has called on the government to step in to end abuse
Premier League clubs will band together to unite all of BOYCOTT’s social media for a full weekend of matches … while resisting vicious racist abuse of footballers and increasing pressure on Twitter and Instagram to take action
By Mike Keegan and Sami Mokbel
Premier League clubs are considering a blanket boycott on social media for a game round before the end of the season.
A growing number of parties want to send a strong message that racism will not be tolerated – after the torrent of player abuse in recent months.
They believe that a synchronized approach, where every club swerves Twitter and Instagram over a match weekend, would not only be symbolic, but also show a united front and add pressure on social media companies.
Premier League clubs are considering a blanket boycott on social media for a round of matches
Obviously, the idea of a boycott from next Friday at 5pm to Monday 9am has drifted among the clubs.
Although it was considered unlikely that this would gain enough traction with this weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals meaning a number of clubs are out of action.
As revealed by Sportsmail last week, key stakeholders in English football were in talks Monday about the possibility of an unprecedented joint blackout.
Swansea became the first club to shut down social media last week with a self-imposed seven-day ban. North of the border, Rangers did the same.
However, the situation is complex. Many clubs have commercial agreements with companies that include promotion on their social media channels.
Indeed, the use of social media is now a major asset for many when negotiating deals, especially those within the big six.
Despite this, it is believed that such hurdles can be overcome given the potentially harmful optics that would undoubtedly ensue if companies were to object to the proposal.
Indeed, there is growing hope that the Premier League, which even maintained until last week that they would rather solve the problems that overshadowed the season through dialogue with social media companies, will change its mind.
The EFL has held talks with its clubs, boycotting one of the options discussed throughout the league
The feeling with top flying clubs is that they should move collectively and avoid a situation where an individual team would call their own blackout.
“What we don’t want is a situation where some clubs have their own boycott and others don’t,” explained a source at a Premier League club.
‘This is really all or nothing. If every club decided to enforce a blanket ban at the same time – and if that were around the same round of matches – that would have the maximum impact. ‘
The Premier League is under increasing pressure to take matters into its own hands after a season of gruesome abuse directed against a number of players.
Tottenham star Heung-min Son and Raheem Sterling are the latest high-profile players to be the target of abuse through their own social media channels.
Additional reporting by Adrian Kajumba.