Arrest made after online racial abuse of West Brom's Romaine Sawyers

West Brom seeking toughest possible punishment

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Police have arrested a 49-year-old man on suspicion of racially abusing West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers during their 5-0 Premier League defeat by Manchester City.

West Brom on Friday said they had contacted the police and would seek the toughest possible punishment after a racist message was sent to the midfielder on social media.

"We've arrested a man on suspicion of racially abusing West Bromwich Albion player Romaine Sawyers online," West Midlands Police said on Twitter.

"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."

Manchester United duo Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial, as well as Chelsea full back Reece James were also the victims of online racial abuse this week.

The players’ union has encouraged players to press charges if possible.

“Systemic racism causes trauma, and footballers are not immune by virtue of their profession,” the Professional Footballers Association said. “Players’ mental health can be affected by racial abuse and the impact of wider racial prejudice in society.”