Aston Villa have reported to West Midlands police “sickening and abhorrent” online racist abuse of their teenage winger Tyreik Wright.
The Premier League club said the messages received on Wright’s Instagram account had also been flagged to the social media platform.
A club statement read: “Aston Villa Football Club is appalled by the racist abuse of one our academy players, Tyreik Wright. Tyreik, who is currently on loan at Walsall, received sickening and abhorrent messages via his Instagram account, messages which the club have reported to both the social media platform and West Midlands police.
“The club is liaising with WMP’s Hate Crime Unit who are now investigating this incident. Aston Villa will work alongside Walsall FC to provide Tyreik with any support he requires and will continue to do everything we can to report and help root out all forms of discrimination.”
Wright, 19, received a torrent of abuse on Tuesday night after posting a news story about schoolchildren avoiding criminal charges for a racially motivated attack on another student.
The Republic of Ireland Under-19 international posted screenshots of the messages he then received on Instagram.
The incident is the latest in a long list of online cases of racist abuse. The Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda recently criticised Facebook’s decision to keep open the account of the person who racially abused him on social media.
The Manchester United players Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Anthony Martial and Lauren James are among those who have been the targets of racist abuse on social media, along with West Bromwich Albion’s Romaine Sawyers and the Chelsea defender Reece James, Lauren’s brother.
Newcastle’s manager, Steve Bruce, revealed he had been made aware of social media users wishing him dead, and the referee Mike Dean recently stood down from a Premier League game after he and his family received death threats.