POLICE have arrested a 49-year-old man on suspicion of racially abusing West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers on social media.
The Premier League club contacted West Midlands Police on Friday morning to report the incident.
A 49-year-old man has been arrested by West Midlands Police on suspicion of racially abusing Romaine SawyersCredit: PA:Press Association
And the constabulary took to Twitter last night to confirm someone was being held.
West Midlands Police said: “We’ve arrested a man on suspicion of racially abusing West Bromwich Albion player Romaine Sawyers online.
“The 49-year-old man from Kingswinford was this evening taken into police custody for questioning.
“Our dedicated football hate crime officer is also investigating another report of a racist comment towards the same footballer.
“We will not tolerate racism.”
Sawyers, 29, was targeted online during the midweek defeat to Manchester City.
The Baggies midfielder, from Birmingham, played the full 90 minutes on Tuesday as Sam Allardyce’s side lost 5-0 when he was attacked with a vile message.
West Brom said on Friday morning: “West Bromwich Albion has today contacted West Midlands Police to report a racist message sent to Romaine Sawyers on social media.
“Everyone at the club is appalled by the abhorrent message which was sent during Tuesday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City.
“The club has a proud history of confronting all forms of discrimination and will assist the authorities with their inquiries, seeking the toughest available legal punishment, as well as a lifetime ban from The Hawthorns for the individual responsible.
“Albion will offer Romaine the relevant support required at this time and continues with its long-standing commitment to help rid football of racism.
“There is No Room For Racism. Anywhere. Challenge it, report it, change it.”
Speaking to the media yesterday ahead of today’s relegation six-pointer against Fulham, Allardyce was undecided as to whether Sawyers would feature.
The Albion boss said: “He is extremely upset as anyone would be.
“We’ve gone through the right channels with Romaine’s blessing and we’ll see what the outcome is. But listening to the news, there is more than Romaine who has suffered throughout football in the last few days, so it becomes a greater thing to try and put right.
“But where does it lie? And who does it lie with?
“I was listening to talkSPORT this morning and they were talking about whether a player should go further. Should they take legal action? That came from the PFA today.
“No black person across the country should be open to abuse on social media.”
Sawyers came through the Baggies academy before leaving in 2013 to join Walsall.
He spent three years with the Saddlers and another three with Brentford before returning to The Hawthorns in 2019.
The centre-mid has 26 caps for the Saint Kitts and Nevis national team.
West Brom played a significant role in the acceptance of black footballers in the English game.
Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson were key members of Ron Atkinson’s side in the late 1970s.